Atlanta business travel is still below pre-pandemic levels
The business traveler — a once-familiar sight in Atlanta's corporate hubs — is slowly returning to metro Atlanta, but not at pre-pandemic levels.
Why it matters: Atlanta is a convention hotspot, and parts of the metro region — particularly downtown — have relied on that steady stream of people to book hotel rooms, eat in restaurants and visit attractions.
Details: Nationwide leisure travel has rocketed to pre-pandemic heights, but business travel is not expected to return to 2019 levels this year. This leaves companies to gauge how COVID has affected their budgets and travel needs.
- Leisure hotel spending could return to 2019 levels in 2022, according to a report from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. But business hotel revenue is projected to be down 23%.
Zoom in: Atlanta hotels are projected to bring in $1.3 billion in revenue from business travelers this year. That’s $386 million less than in 2019.
Yes, but: This year, developers are constructing 42 hotels in metro Atlanta with 6,100 rooms, Bisnow reports, citing a CoStar study.
- Another 100 projects are in the planning stages that could add 12,400 hotel rooms in the future, the real estate news service says.
Signia by Hilton Atlanta, a roughly 1,000-room hotel rising on the Georgia World Congress Center campus, is expected to finish construction in 2024.
Zoom out: San Francisco could see 69% less revenue compared to pre-pandemic days, followed by New York, Washington, D.C., and San Jose, California, also down more than 50%.
- Las Vegas business travelers are on track to spend nearly 18% more this year on hotel lodging than they did in 2019.
Between the lines: Companies are reassessing and reprioritizing when and why employees travel, Joann Muller of Axios’ What’s Next reports.
- Many bosses are keen to maintain the financial savings and climate benefits they saw during the pandemic when employees worked from home and corporate travel was limited.
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