Hotel occupancy at record low

U.S. hotels may have reached the low point of demand during the pandemic. For the week ending April 11, only 21% of U.S. hotel rooms were occupied — a historic low after two previous weeks of nearing that level, according to STR, a data and consulting firm. Last spring, hotels were seeing nearly 70% of rooms occupied. Tourist-dependent locations have seen the steepest declines. STR said hotels in Oahu, Hawaii, had an occupancy rate of 7%, the lowest in the country. Some cities – including New
York and Seattle – saw slight upticks in occupancy the week of April 11. STR said that was likely due to an influx of medical workers seeking lodging. Marriott, Hilton and other hotel companies are offering free rooms to first responders. Declines in occupancy are hitting the industry hard. The American Hotel and Lodging Association —a trade group — says U.S. hotels have lost $10 billion in revenue since mid-February, when cases of the new coronavirus began escalating. They’re furloughing or laying off thousands of workers.