Hotel industry executives hope business travel, conventions return to Orlando soon

Hotel industry executives say Orlando is open for business travel, and they’re hoping big conventions will come back soon.

"Yes," American Hotel and Lodging Association President And CEO Chip Rogers said. "There is enormous pent-up demand. There is no question about it on the leisure side. It is important to remember, though, leisure travel alone cannot make our industry survive. We have to have this convention center filled."

Representatives from the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) held a news conference to make sure businesses know it is safe to book their conventions and events in Orlando by highlighting the enhanced cleaning and social distancing protocols in place.

The AHLA and the FRLA said last year Orlando and the State of Florida saw a 65% revenue drop among hotels. They also add that the drop in revenue between May of 2020 and May of 2021 was worse than September of 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

RELATED: Bringing tourists back to Orlando after a pandemic slump

"It isn’t just the hotels, it’s the restaurants and all the ancillary businesses that serve the tourism community," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. "The hospitality industry, so it’s important that we show the world that we are a safe community to travel to."

The AHLA and the FRLA estimate that business travel will not be back up to pre-pandemic levels until the year 2024.

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