LA Hotel Reservations Returning to Pre-Pandemic Levels
Travel demand has reduced hotel bookings in Los Angeles to pre-pandemic levels this fall.
Bookings hit 100% of their 2019 levels in October and November, according to SiteMinder data first reported by the LA Times.
Nationwide bookings were about 90% of pre-pandemic levels, but some cities are still struggling – San Francisco recorded about half of bookings in those months compared to two years earlier.
About 15 percent of visitors to LA come from abroad.
“There is pent-up demand for vacations that have been postponed, for weddings that have been canceled,” said JLL hotel sales broker John Strauss. “Despite the headwind of Omicron, there is a definite and strong appetite” for traveling.
Strauss added that “there is also a significant comeback in the repressed group business.” Group bookings are essential for hotels and have declined significantly over the past year.
While the spread of the highly contagious variant of the Omicron coronavirus may not deter travelers, it may prompt national and local authorities to tighten restrictions, which would likely dampen demand for rooms.
So far, none of LA County’s 30 Omicron cases have resulted in hospitalization or death, but the total number of hospitalizations for Covid-19 has increased by 39% since November 23, just before the Thanksgiving holiday. Authorities in California instituted a statewide indoor mask warrant on Wednesday.
The resumption of travel, meanwhile, is making it difficult for hoteliers to secure the supplies they need for daily operations, including cleaning supplies, linens and food. They also have difficulty finding workers, especially in restaurants and bars.
The chaos of the past two years has forced some hoteliers to close their doors and some investors are taking advantage.
LVMH earlier this week struck a $ 200 million deal for the former 86-key Luxe hotel on Rodeo Drive.
The Luxe closed last year, “made up for bad timing in the global travel market,” according to Aron Harkham, son of owner Efram Harkham.
The French conglomerate also bought a Beverly Drive property next to its Cheval Blanc hotel development site last summer, presumably with the intention of integrating it into the hotel.
The Standard Hotel in West Hollywood officially hit the market in October after closing in January due to the pandemic. The 139-key hotel had been in business since 1999.
[LAT] – Denis lynch