A happy ending is in sight to the Big Apple’s hotel industry catastrophe — just wait until 2026!
“I am supremely optimistic for five years from now,” said Vijay Dandapani, president of the Hotel Association of New York. But the short- and medium-term outlooks are another story.
“The key thing is that international travel is not here yet” and there’s no way to know when it will fully return, despite President Biden’s plan to reduce restrictions by some time in November, Dandapani said.
The beleaguered industry’s plight is epic in scope. Of the city’s total 700 hotels pre-pandemic, about 250 either closed or were converted to homeless shelters.
Average occupancy fell from over 80% in 2019 to 33% early this year (it has since upticked to 45%, Dandapani said). By comparison, occupancy never fell below 60% during the earlier crises of 9/11 and the 2008 Wall Street crash.