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New York City is usually a circus that comes in December as tourists fill up the expensive hotels there to gaze at Bergdorf Goodman’s windows, chuckle at Book of Mormon, and enjoy the Nuts for Nuts street vendors.
But the biggest show on Earth stalled last year, and the hotel sector was desperate to see if 2021 would bring occupancy rates back to pre-pandemic levels. But with the holiday season coming this week, it looks like the big summit isn’t coming to town.
Occupancy rates in the CBRE real estate group’s hotel division are expected to reach 56% in the fourth quarter of this year, a slight improvement over the previous three months.
One factor hampering the holiday boom is international tourists, who tend to stay longer and spend more than Americans. But bookings for international flights for November and December are down 45% and 33% from 2019 as conditions brought on by the coronavirus continue their pattern:
- Vaccination, testing and quarantine restrictions on both the US and international parties of the trip discourage tourists – Chinese travelers, who are among the biggest spenders on tourism, are currently required to quarantine hotels at their own expense for three weeks upon their return home.
- Some people are bragging about the long-awaited holidays but are in the minority — only a third of Americans are likely to travel this Christmas, and less than a quarter are planning to stay in a hotel, according to a survey by the American Hotel & Housing Association.
“We’re going to get some visits during the holidays, but I don’t think this is a cure-all in any way,” said Rachel Rothman, head of hotel research and data analytics at CBRE. The Wall Street Journal.
time travel: There seems to be no cure for all cases except for time. While this spring looks promising based on ticket and tour reservations, city officials are placing their bets on 2024 when tourism rates for the year will return to normal.
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