SAN ANTONIO - A new report reveals business travel is down and Texas hotels are projected to lose more than $4 billion in revenue this year.
Experts believe it is just another lingering effect of COVID-19.
"For the most part, our leisure business has returned to where it was prior to COVID," said Robert Thrailkill, the general manager at Hilton Palacio del Rio.
Hotels in downtown San Antonio benefit from conventions happening at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. But without these large, corporate events, hotel general managers are solely relying on tourism and people traveling for fun.
"We're visiting from Chicago, Illinois," said Camille Hernandez, tourist.
Leisure travel remains significant and stable and as tourists flock to the Riverwalk.
"It's definitely a tourist area, which I like. I mean, there's a lot of things to do here," said Grace Hernandez, who was visiting with her sister. "I love the River Walk"
But when it comes to the business travel, according to a recent report from the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), Texas hotels are bracing for more billions of dollars in losses for the year.
Thrailkill said the hotel he oversees along the River Walk was directly impacted by the loss of conventions happening just down the street.
"I’d say our business about 70% of what we typically would see," Thrailkill said. "That missing 30% is really the group side this, the commission side of this."
He said without business travel, which includes corporate, group and government events, hotels along the Riverwalk are desperate for tourists to fill their rooms.
"We've had a very good October," Thrailkill said. "Not great, but good. And so that's kind of where we're at right now."
He added Friday night the hotel was completely booked out.
But tourists staying at nearby hotels said they did not think downtown San Antonio seemed busy on Friday afternoon.
"It's definitely much quieter and that can be a good and bad thing," Grace said.
Thrailkill added he is grateful for all the current tourism business, but looks forward to seeing conventions back at the Henry B. Gonzales, "That will be the remaining balance we need to get back to 100%."
Experts believe business travel is not expected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/hotels-rely-on-tourism-as-business-travel-expected-to-remain-down-through-the-end-of-year/ar-AAPRZou407