Despite vacationers, hotel rooms are empty

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Christina Estes / KJZZ

Car Rental Center at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on October 22, 2021.

The hospitality industry is forecasting a better holiday season compared to last year, but most people still plan to stay home.

Nearly 30% of Americans are likely to travel for Thanksgiving and 33% for Christmas, according to a survey commissioned by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and conducted by Morning Consult.

Of those planning to travel, most will drive – 68% for Thanksgiving and 63% for Christmas – and less than 25% will book hotels, the rest will stay with family and friends.

“While vaccines have helped travelers feel more comfortable, rising gasoline prices and lingering concerns about the pandemic are making many Americans reluctant to travel during the holidays,” said Chip Rogers, Chairman and CEO of AHLA in a press release.

Business travel is the main source of hotel revenue – it is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. The industry has been push Congress to pass a law this would cover up to three months of payroll for hotels that have seen their revenues fall by at least 40%.

Morning Consult survey methodology: The survey was conducted from October 30 to November 30. 1, 2021, among a national sample of 2200 Adults. Interviews were conducted online and data was weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, education, age, race and region. The results of the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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