Since the start of the pandemic, the COVID test requirement hindered the recovery of the travel and hospitality industry. But, for many hotel owners, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. According to new data released by the World Travel & Tourism Council and ForwardKeys, inbound travelers are returning in droves after the Biden Administration dropped the requirement for COVID test before entering the U.S.
“The spike in inbound bookings validates the U.S. government’s decision to ease travel restrictions by scrapping testing for visitors and returning U.S. citizens—something other economies did long ago,” said Julia Simpson, president/CEO, WTTC. “The year-over-year improvement is promising, but there is still a way to go for travel to the U.S. At the current rate of recovery, international visitor spending will not reach pre-pandemic levels until 2025.”
She continued, “This finding echoes our previous study showing the U.S. lagging other countries in international visitors, resulting in a slower-than-expected recovery of international tourism revenue.”
According to recent flight booking data, iconic U.S. cities remain popular destinations among international travelers, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, and Orlando. With the increase of international travelers, hotel owners are thinking creatively and strategically to ensure their properties meet the needs of these new guests.