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Florida Hotel Business Travel Revenue Projected To Drop $5.3 Billion Compared To 2019

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to hurt Florida's hotel industry, as a new report finds that business travel is being hit particularly hard.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association and Kalibri Labs project that business travel revenue for Florida hotels will be down $5.3 billion this year compared to 2019.

That's off nearly 61 percent year-over-year.

In addition, revenue is not expected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2024.

While leisure travel is recovering quicker, business travel remains low as more trips are being canceled or postponed due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

But as bad as Florida's figures are, they're actually better than the damage nationwide.

The hotel industry is projected to finish this year off $59 billion dollars in business travel revenue — down 66% compared to 2019.

The decline is also affecting industry staffing — hotels are expected to end this year with nearly half a million fewer jobs nationally compared to 2019.

And on a market basis, Orlando's hotel business travel revenue is projected to drop 81.5% compared to 2019 ($2.8 billion in 2019, $518 million in 2021); Miami will be off 62.6% ($1.3 billion vs. $497 million); Ft. Lauderdale down 67% ($703 million vs. $232 million); West Palm Beach down 65.2% ($416 million vs. $145 million); and Tampa down 61.6% ($429 million vs. 165 million).

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Mark Schreiner has been the producer and reporter for "University Beat" on WUSF 89.7 FM since 2001 and on WUSF TV from 2007-2017.
Cathy Carter
Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.