Here’s exactly how COVID-19 has impacted business at local hotels and motels across the country
March 20, 2020
As state and local officials continue to take drastic measures in an effort to contain spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, few industries have been hit hard as early as the travel industry.
On Thursday, march 18th, the U.S. state department issued a level 4 “do not travel” advisory. Even before that, the CDC strongly advised limiting travel even within the United States. As you might imagine, local hotels and motels are bracing for what will likely be a catastrophic drop in business.
At Womply, we’ve been analyzing revenue data at local businesses in all 50 states and across hundreds of business categories, and we wanted to see exactly how much hotels, motels, and other lodging places have been impacted by the coronavirus.
A daily view of how business at lodging places are trending compared to the same time last year
Another way to look at impact on lodging places is to analyze every day of the 2020 calendar year against sales on the closest day of the week in 2019. That’s what you’ll see in the charts below for all 50 states (we’ll look at specific states and cities later on).
Note: if viewing on mobile, rotate device to landscape for best viewing experience of the charts in this article
A few observations from this view:
- On average, lodging places across the country had a tough start to the year, with sales dipping consistently 20% below those during the same time in 2019
- The week of March 9th, as major events across the country started getting canceled, nationwide revenue at lodging places plummeted
- By Monday, March 16th, average revenue at lodging places across the country had completely fallen off a cliff
Here’s a calendar view of the same statistics
This is likely only the beginning of what will no doubt be an extremely difficult time for local hotels and motels across the country, so keep an eye on these charts as we update the figures daily.
Map: Last week year-over-year change in sales at lodging places as a result of COVID-19 impact
One way to look at how efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus might be impacting local hotels and motels is to look at the most recent week vs. the same time period in 2019. The graphic below shows this view for local lodging places, updated daily to show the most recent 7-day period.
Note, you can click on a state to view county-level data
A few observations:
- The map above reflects average at hotels and motels last week (the week of Monday, March 30)
- Lodging place revenue was down significantly in every state last week, typically 60% to 80% less than during the same time in 2019, and has been for weeks
- On the week of March 9, which is when commercial and government organizations began shutting down nationwide, business at lodging places dropped significantly around the country, typically around 30 to 45% less than during the same week in 2019
New York lodging places have seen sales plummet
New York was one of the first U.S. states with confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, and currently has more total confirmed cases than any state in the country. As a result, lodging places in the Empire state have seen business plummet as fears of the virus spread as the state has taken drastic measures to contain the spread of the virus.
The softening travel and tourism market has been especially brutal to New York City. Take a look at the mounting losses in one of the world’s top travel destinations.
California hotels and motels places have been hit hard
In addition to New York, California has had a disproportionately high number of confirmed coronavirus cases. Particularly in the bay area and Los Angeles county. And many of the drastic measures the state has been forced to make (such as closing Disneyland) were early signals that we were in for serious times ahead.
As you’d expect, hotels and motels across the state saw business drop off a cliff at the beginning of March.
The softening travel and tourism market has been especially brutal in the bay area, where there’s the highest per-capita infection rate in the state
By Monday, March 16th, average revenue was down over 100% in the bay area vs the same time in 2019.
Now, let’s take a look at business at lodging places in the Los Angeles area:
Hotels and motels in LA saw sales up over 2019 as late as March 4th. By March 13th, when Disneyland announced they were closing due to coronavirus concerns, revenue had dropped to 66% below the same time in 2019. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of an even steeper drop for Los Angeles area hotels.
Hotels and motels across the state of Washington are hurting, too
January through March don’t necessarily represent the seasonal peak for Washington hotels and motels. But as Washington (and King county in particular) is home to the first major outbreak of the virus, there’s no question hotels and motels across the state have been negatively impacted.
Average revenue at Washington hotels and motels have been in a free fall since March 6th. By the week of the 23rd, revenue was consistently down around 80% below 2019.
The picture is even more dire in King County. After a spiky, but mostly healthy start to the year, revenue has plummeted at Seattle area hotels and motels.
What’s next for hotels, motels, and other lodging places in the United States?
If COVID-19 continues to spread in the U.S., we can only expect current travel restrictions to stay in place until the outbreak is contained. Until then, U.S. lodging places are in for an extremely tough time ahead.
If the U.S. economy goes into recession as a result of the coronavirus, all local businesses will feel the pain, especially hotel and motel owners, who appear to be on the forefront.
We will continue to update this data analysis over time, and we’re continuing to analyze sales patterns at other local business types such as retail stores, bars and restaurants, supermarkets, and more. Stay tuned.
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