COVID-19 has affected every sector across the globe, and the hotel industry is among the hardest hit. Our research suggests that recovery to pre-COVID-19 levels could take until 2023—or later. Investors are providing similar views of hotel companies’ prospects, as seen in the underperformance of US lodging real estate investment trusts (REITs). Like so many industries, hospitality will also see both subtle and substantial shifts in the post-pandemic era. Some are already apparent today.
In this article, we will examine a set of recovery scenarios for US hotels, including differing return and recovery timelines for hotels ranging from luxury to economy segment. On the consumer side, we will look at what guests say will make them feel safe when traveling, including contactless check-ins and check-outs, and an added emphasis on hygiene. And we will review the factors affecting the initial return of travel in the domestic business and leisure segments.