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COVID Variants Have an Impact on Business Travel, According to a New Study

The increased number of COVID-19 cases connected with the Delta variant has driven business travelers to schedule fewer visits, according to a recent report from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).

According to Morning Consult's poll, 67 percent of business travelers want to take fewer trips, 52 percent intend to cancel existing travel arrangements without rescheduling, and 60 percent intend to postpone existing travel plans.

Another 66% of respondents said they would only travel to locations where they could drive.

While recreational travel has increased during the summer, business travel and events are not anticipated to recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to data. As a result, hotels are anticipated to lose roughly 500,000 employment by the end of 2021, compared to 2019.

"Hotels are on track to lose more business travel income this year than we did in 2020," said AHLA CEO Chip Rogers. "Now, mounting COVID-19 cases threaten to further erode our industry's principal source of revenue."

"For over a year, hotel employees and small business owners around the country have been clamoring for immediate pandemic relief," Rogers stated. "These findings demonstrate why Congress should pay attention to their requests and adopt the Save Hotel Jobs Act today."

Travelers who are likely to attend large gatherings, meetings, and events were also polled, with 71 percent stating they would attend fewer in-person activities owing to coronavirus worries, and 67 percent saying meetings and events would be shorter.

According to the report, 59 percent of respondents are likely to reschedule current meetings or activities, while another 49 percent are likely to cancel existing meetings or events with no intentions to reschedule.

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