While virtually every business arena has been impacted by COVID-19, the hospitality industry has taken a particularly severe hit. The American Hotel and Lodging Association reported that since mid-February, hotels have lost over $46 billion in room revenue.
Columbus and Bartholomew County are no exception. Smith Travel Research (STR) reported that in August, the local lodging industry saw a 46% decrease in business from where it was at the same time last year.
“Rates have been a challenge,” said Cindy Waddle, who is regional manager for Dora Hotels in Bartholomew County and on the visitors center’s board of directors. “… When there’s less demand, everybody is competing for the same business.”
Corporate travel is a key component to the success of Bartholomew County hotels, said Visitors Center Director of Marketing Erin Hawkins. “And since business travel doesn’t seem to be rebounding as quickly as we had hoped, hotel occupancy has been understandably low…