Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Labor Day weekend traffic might be a touch lighter this year, with hotel bookings down 65% compared to last year.

Why it matters: America's hotels are on life support as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, with hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue and some 2 million jobs at stake.

What’s happening: The pandemic-era travel drought has continued through major holiday weekends like Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day and, now, Labor Day.

  • As a result, the American hotel industry is projected to shrink by 45% in 2020, according to the market research firm Ibis World.
  • Just 16% of Americans plan to travel for Labor Day, 25% for Thanksgiving and 29% for Christmas, per a new report from the American Hotel & Lodging Association. 14% of hotel rooms are booked for this weekend, compared with 41% last year.
  • And even as states around the country begin to reopen, 4 in 10 hotel workers are still on furlough.

The other side: As hotels suffer, Airbnb is doing quite well, Axios' Felix Salmon writes.

  • Work-from-home has turned into work-from-anywhere for America's telecommuters, and vacationers prefer homes they can have to themselves over buildings they have to share with other people.

The bottom line: Travel is starting to creep back from lows earlier in the summer, but it'll be a long time before people feel comfortable checking into hotels again. And it'll be even longer before international tourists start filling up rooms.

Go deeper

16 hours ago - Health

200,000 Americans gone too soon

Data: Johns Hopkins; Chart: Axios Visuals

Today marks another devastating milestone in the 2020 history books:

The state of play: February 29: First reported U.S. coronavirus death; May 23: U.S. death toll hits 100,000; September 22: U.S. death toll hits 200,000, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.

17 hours ago - Health

CDC releases holiday season guidance to curb COVID-19 spread

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued holiday-specific guidelines this week to limit COVID-19 risks posed by gatherings and celebrations prior to the fall and winter holidays.

Why it matters: With the flu season just around the corner, medical experts are worried about the likelihood of battling COVID-19 and influenza at the same time. The coronavirus has now killed 200,000 Americans, and the U.S. is averaging roughly 830 per day. Cases and deaths could worsen again as the weather gets colder and people move indoors.

Updated 7 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The weekly number of new global coronavirus cases reported last week reached its highest level yet, the World Health Organization said.

The big picture: From September 14-20, there were nearly 2 million new cases, a 6% increase compared to the previous week, the WHO said.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!