Good news from the American heartland — commercial real estate experts are seeing positive signs for the region’s hospitality sector. After a grim 80% decline in key industry metrics during the COVID-19 pandemic, some more recent numbers are indicating a major turnaround.
Employment and occupancy both up
Perhaps the best signs of hope were seen in the hospitality sector’s hiring numbers. The Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area added an impressive 58,000 jobs in the past year, followed up by Milwaukee, WI, and Des Moines, IA, with 20,100 and 11,100 jobs respectively.
These hiring pushes were due to hotels and resorts ramping up staffing for high occupancy rates and strong leisure travel numbers this summer. Vacationers choosing staycations over distant destinations made the Midwest one of the biggest winners for leisure travel.
Professional conferences still on hold
On the flip side, business and professional traveler numbers have been much slower to rebound. While some trade shows and conferences resumed in June and July, many organizations felt the situation remained too unpredictable to risk in-person gatherings.
Big things for 2H 2021
Ultimately, the signs are pointing to big wins for hospitality in the second half of 2021, with inventory hopeful we’ll return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 or 2023. To read more about these predictions, check out this article by RE Journals