WASHINGTON (Axios): Twin Cities hotels weathered a devastating dip in business in 2020 — and local tourism experts warn the pain will likely continue well into this year.
Area hotels’ occupancy rate plunged to 33% in 2020 from 66% in 2019, the lowest rate among the top 25 metros nationwide, according to STR, a global hospitality benchmarking company.
Driving the trend: Travel, including business trips and lucrative conference bookings, nosedived during the pandemic.
While conditions are starting to improve, just 20% of hotels statewide think business will rebound to pre-pandemic levels by this summer, per a recent state industry survey.
What to watch: Concerns about last summer’s unrest and the prospect of more protests during the upcoming trials of the four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death might hinder the local rebound, Explore Minnesota CEO John Edman told Axios.
“It’s a nerve-wracking time for a lot of the folks in the hotel community,” he said.
“The concern [is] about the trials and what that’s going to do for peoples’ feeling of embracing the city, safety, and things like that. That they’re going to have to overcome.”