More than three years into COVID-19, the lines remain blurred between what’s considered a business trip or a vacation. And when they happen together, that’s good for the hospitality industry, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Global CEO Gilda Perez-Alvarado said.
In a recent appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” show, Perez-Alvarado said worries about the economy’s effect on travel are partly offset by longer overall trips when two journeys are combined.
“When you look at length of stay, that actually is [longer] and a lot of travelers are combining leisure with business or business with leisure,” Perez-Alvarado said. “The reality is, yes, people are on the road.”
She added that so many people are traveling again that “business class cabins in airplanes are very, very tight.”
Those are hopeful signs for an industry that longs for more corporate spending to push up demand and raise room rates. As the industry seeks a full recovery from the effects of a global pandemic, hotel operators are still concerned with rising interest rates, inflation, layoffs and other economic troubles.
“Right now, with this economic uncertainty, some companies are holding back,” Perez-Alvarado said. “I would say maybe the demand mix looks a little different, but I don’t think we should be concerned about business travel. It is starting to come back.”