The first half of 2021 brought more than a year of impact from the COVID-19 pandemic and a roller coaster of hotel activity. The roll-out of vaccinations in the first quarter of 2021 spurred hotel demand at a level beyond forecasters’ expectations. Leisure drive-to travelers continue to be the primary users of hotels, and while construction and infrastructure crews have returned to economy and midscale hotels, the road warrior corporate business traveler has not yet returned in any significant numbers.
Corporate travel policies remained constrained, although some conventions and trade shows were held in major urban venues with lower attendances. Overall, hotel occupancies more than doubled for the second quarter of 2021 compared to 2020 as 1.7 million more guests stayed in hotels each night.