Indiana hotels return to pre-pandemic revenue levels – Inside INdiana Business

Inside the lobby of the Elkhart Hotel. (photo provided)

A new study from the American Hotel & Lodging Association indicates that hotel room revenues and state and local tax revenues are expected to exceed 2019 levels by the end of the year. For the first half of the year, Indiana was already back to pre-pandemic levels, with tax revenue up nearly 12% and hotel room revenue up 15%. Patrick Tamm, CEO of the Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association, said the numbers were ahead of schedule as many forecasts predicted revenue would not return to normal until 2024.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Tamm said there are always “haves and have-nots” in the hospitality industry.

“Indianapolis hosted more events, more trade shows, more conventions than any other city in the United States last year in 2021. That’s something we can be very proud of,” Tamm said. “The second half of this year for downtown Indianapolis and really our trade show and convention business is looking very strong. [It’s] going to be a bit down from 2019 levels, but frankly, [it] looks very strong. At the same time, however, business travel has fallen significantly and is still falling.

In Indianapolis’ central business district, Tamm says business travel is only 40% best-case scenario on a Monday or Tuesday night, meaning that in areas such as Fort Wayne, Evansville and other parts of the state it could be lower.

The 2022 AHLA State of the Hospitality Industry Report indicates that nationally, 47% of business travelers extended a business trip for leisure purposes in the past year, and 82% say they are interested in doing so in the future.

“We see some of it. We’ve never been an extremely strong leisure market in a business traveler sense, but that’s partly happening. I am encouraged by the State and the Indiana Destination Development Corp., their pursuits for IN Indiana. We really need to improve our brand as a state, not just for travelers and business decision makers, but for everyone.

Nationally, the AHLA report predicts hotel room revenues will exceed $188 billion by the end of 2022, with state and local tax revenues reaching nearly $44 billion.

“After two and a half extremely difficult years, things are gradually improving for the hospitality industry and our employees. This progress is a testament to the resilience and hard work of hoteliers and hotel associates, who are once again welcoming guests in great numbers this summer,” said AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers. in written comments. “While these results highlight the important role hotels play in creating jobs, stimulating investment and generating tax revenue in communities across the country, they also underscore the persistent challenges posed by the one of the tightest labor markets in decades.”

Additionally, the report says hotels are expected to reach 84% of their pre-pandemic employment levels by the end of the year. Tamm says Indiana mirrors the national numbers very well.

“It has been widely reported that no one has enough people. We are clearly no different,” he said. “We’re still trying to pick up a lot of our key people, if you will, who have joined other industries. If someone wants to get started in a hospitality business today, what a great opportunity to quickly advance your career. There are a lot of opportunities, a lot of openings at all levels. And we’d love to talk to you.

You can connect to the full AHLA report by click here.

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