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

Inside the lobby of Hotel Elkhart. (photo courtesy)

Hotel room revenues and state and local tax revenues are expected to surpass 2019 levels by the end of the year, according to new research from the American Hotel & Lodging Association. In the first half of this year, Indiana has already returned to pre-pandemic levels, with tax revenues up nearly 12% and hotel room revenues up 15%. Patrick Tam, CEO of the Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association, said the numbers are ahead of schedule, as many had predicted that revenue would not return to normal until 2024.

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

“Last year, 2021, Indianapolis hosted more events, trade fairs and conventions than any other city in the United States, which makes us very proud,” said Tam. “Downtown Indianapolis, and indeed our trade fair and convention business, looks very strong in the second half of the year. [It’s] A bit down from 2019 levels, but frankly [it] looks very strong. At the same time, however, business travel has declined significantly and is still on the decline. “

In the Indianapolis central business district, business trips on Monday or Tuesday night are only 40 percent of the best-case scenario, according to Tam, and lower in Fort Wayne, Evansville, and other parts of the state.

Nationally, 47% of business travelers said they extended their leisure trips in the past year, and 82% said they would be interested in doing so in the future, according to AHLA’s 2022 Mid-Term Hotel Industry Report. increase.

“We see part of it. , Indiana is encouraged by their pursuit. We need to improve our brand as a state, not just for travelers and business decision makers, but for everyone.”

Nationally, the AHLA report projects hotel room revenues to surpass $188 billion by the end of 2022, increasing state and local tax revenues to nearly $44 billion.

“After two and a half very difficult years, things are steadily improving for the hotel industry and its employees. , and we are welcoming back a huge number of guests,” AHLA president and CEO Chip Rogers said in a statement. “These findings highlight the key role hotels play in creating jobs, driving investment and generating tax revenue in communities across the country, but the tightest growth rate in decades. It also highlights the lingering challenges posed by one of the labor markets.”

Additionally, the report expects hotels to reach 84% of pre-pandemic employment levels by the end of the year. Tam says Indiana is very reflective of the national numbers.

“It’s been widely reported that no one has enough people. We’re clearly no different,” he said. “We are still trying to bring back many important people who have joined other industries. But if anyone wants to get into the hospitality business today, it is a great opportunity to advance their career rapidly. There are so many opportunities, so many opportunities across the board, and we want to talk to you.”

Click here to connect to the full AHLA report.