Lack of business travelers costs Phoenix hotels hundreds of millions of dollars

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown PHXGP
Posted at 8:41 AM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 11:41:41-04

PHOENIX — Business travel isn’t back yet and because of that Arizona hotels could lose nearly $300 million in 2022, according to a new study released this week.

Leisure travel has been the main driver in the tourism industry since the Covid-19 pandemic and nationally it is expected to surpass 2019 levels this year. But business travel — which includes corporate, group, government, and other commercial categories — is the hotel industry’s largest source of revenue.

A study released Tuesday by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Kalibri Labs projects that Arizona hotels will make $1.8 billion in revenue from business travel in 2022, but that is 14.5% or $297.5 million less than what it made in 2019, before the pandemic.

The Phoenix market, which accounts for the majority of business travel to the state of Arizona, is projected to have about 17.8% less business travel revenue or $241.4 million this year.

“While dwindling Covid-19 case counts and relaxed CDC guidelines are providing a sense of optimism for reigniting travel, this report underscores how tough it will be for many hotels and hotel employees to recover from years of lost revenue,” Chip Rogers, the president and CEO of American Hotel and Lodging Association, said in a statement.

Read more of this story from the Phoenix Business Journal.