WASHINGTON (January 21, 2020) The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today released “AHLA’s State of the Hotel Industry 2021” outlining the forecasted state of the hotel industry in 2021 and into the immediate future. The report examines the high-level economics of the hotel industry’s recovery, the specific impact on and eventual return of business travel, and consumer travel sentiments.

The pandemic has been devastating to the hospitality industry workforce, which is down nearly 4 million jobs compared to the same time in 2019. While some 200,000 jobs are expected to be filled this year, overall, the accommodations sector faces an 18.9% unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, half of U.S. hotel rooms are projected to remain empty in 2021.

Business travel, which comprises the largest source of hotel revenue, remains nearly nonexistent, but it is expected to begin a slow return in the second half of 2021. Among frequent business travelers who are currently employed, 29% expect to attend their first business conference in the first half of 2021, 36% in the second half of the year and 20% more than a year from now. Business travel is not expected to return to 2019 levels until at least 2023 or 2024. 

Leisure travel is expected to return first, with consumers optimistic about national distribution of a vaccine and with that an ability to travel again in 2021. The report found that heading into 2021, consumers are optimistic about travel, with 56% of Americans saying they are likely to travel for leisure or vacation in 2021. While 34% of adults are already comfortable staying in a hotel, 48% say their comfort is tied to vaccination in some way.

The top findings from this report include:

  1. Hotels will add 200,000 direct hotel operations jobs in 2021 but will remain nearly 500,000 jobs below the industry’s pre-pandemic employment level of 2.3 million employees. 
  2. Half of U.S. hotel rooms are projected to remain empty.
  3. Business travel is forecasted to be down 85% compared to 2019 through April 2021, and then only begin ticking up slightly. 
  4. 56% of consumers say they expect to travel for leisure, roughly the same amount as in an average year.  
  5. Nearly half of consumers see vaccine distribution as key to travel.
  6. When selecting a hotel, enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices rank as guests’ number two priority, behind price. 

“COVID-19 has wiped out 10 years of hotel job growth. Yet the hallmark of hospitality is endless optimism, and I am confident in the future of our industry,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA.

“Despite the challenges facing the hotel industry, we are resilient. Hotels across the country are focused on creating an environment ready for guests when travel begins to return. AHLA is eager to work with the new Administration and Congress on policies that will ultimately help bring back travel, from helping small business hoteliers keep their doors open to ramping up vaccine distribution and testing. Together, we can bring back jobs and reignite a continued investment in the communities we serve,” said Rogers.

The resurgence of COVID-19, the emergence of new strains, and a slow vaccine rollout have added to the challenges the hotel industry faces this year. With travel demand continuing to lag normal levels, national and state projections for 2021 show a slow rebound for the industry and then accelerating in 2022.

The hotel industry experienced the most devastating year on record in 2020, resulting in historically low occupancy, massive job loss, and hotel closures across the country. Hotels were one of the first industries affected by the pandemic after travel was forced to a virtual halt in early 2020, and it will be one of the last to recover. The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry so far has been nine times that of 9/11.


JANUARY 20, 2021 – CALGARY – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Travelodge Canada is pleased to announce that sixteen of its properties from across the country have been honored with a 2021 Traveller Review Award.

Recognized based on the collection of countless guest reviews from across the country, the Travelodge by Wyndham Blairmore, Travelodge by Wyndham Edson, Travelodge by Wyndham Lethbridge, Travelodge by Wyndham Pincher Creek, Travelodge by Wyndham Spruce Grove, Travelodge by Wyndham Strathmore, Travelodge by Wyndham Prince George, Travelodge by Wyndham Victoria Airport Sidney, Travelodge Suites by Wyndham Moncton, Travelodge Suites by Wyndham Saint John, Travelodge Suites by Wyndham New Glasgow, Travelodge by Wyndham Sydney, Travelodge by Wyndham Kapuskasing, Travelodge by Wyndham Niagara Falls At The Falls, Travelodge by Wyndham Alma and Travelodge by Wyndham Weyburn consistently offered outstanding hospitality, while ensuring their guests were able to make the most of the limited domestic travel options available to them during this difficult year.

“To be honored with a Traveller Review Award during the challenging year that was 2020, is a fantastic achievement” said Trevor Hagel, Executive Vice President, Operations, Travelodge Canada. “We are thrilled to offer our congratulations to each of these sixteen exemplary Travelodge by Wyndham properties across Canada, as well as all of the other deserving recipients across the hospitality industry.”

This marks the ninth year that has handed out the Traveller Review Awards, which recognize partners for exceptional hospitality and service throughout the year. Winners are selected based on receiving outstanding average review scores that guests have left at the conclusion of their stay.


Toronto, ON (January 19, 2021) – Despite the challenges of the last year in the industry, Choice Hotels Canada is going into 2021 strong. Armed with a new sales strategy and department overhaul, one of the country’s leading lodging franchisors has rolled out a new multi-tiered approach to sales which will further strengthen the company as it plans for the future.

Changes include a reorganization of its sales division and strategy to place its hotels and brands in a progressive position at all levels of sales. This starts, effective immediately, with the appointment of Derrick Britt as Director, Sales Canada. With over 20 years of diverse hotel management experience, Derrick will lead the sales team through the transformation that will grow sales delivery to its more than 330 hotels across Canada. Prior to this, he was a Franchise Performance Consultant for the company.

“Our franchisees are the heart of our business, and this investment is critical to their success, particularly after the challenges the industry has – and continues to face – due to COVID-19,” says Julie Chan-McConnell, Senior Director, Commercial Strategy & Performance at Choice Hotels Canada. “I am thrilled with the team we’ve assembled and confident that under Derrick’s leadership, we will take our sales efforts to the next level.”

Other key appointments include Katie Anderson and Peter Sellick. Katie has been promoted to Senior Manager, Sales Operations. She joined Choice Hotels Canada in 2017 as Regional Sales Manager for Ontario and Manitoba and has been able to turn that experience into valuable insights when optimizing sales operations effectiveness.

Peter will move into the newly created Manager, Market Sales position, increasing the company’s value to franchisees through incremental brand and local sales delivery. He will also lead broader sales training for all hotels. Previously, he held the role of Regional Sales Manager in Western Canada.


Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (January 19, 2021)Muir, Autograph Collection opens on the Halifax waterfront in the summer of 2021, promising a refined, distinctly Nova Scotian hospitality experience with stunning waterfront views and unprecedented access to the Atlantic Ocean.

Muir (Scottish Gaelic for 'sea') is located on the vibrant Halifax waterfront as the cornerstone of Queen’s Marque, a new urban waterfront district in the absolute centre of downtown Halifax. Inspired by Nova Scotia’s culture, character and enduring spirit, Muir strikes a rare balance between tradition and modernity. Envisioned, developed and operated by The Armour Group, and designed by celebrated Nova Scotian architecture practice MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, Muir is an example of 'Born of this Place' design, honouring character, materiality and heritage through the art of architecture.

“Muir simply could not exist anywhere else in the world,” said Scott Armour McCrea, President and CEO of The Armour Group. “From the moment of arrival, you’ll feel an indelible sense of place. Every moment at Muir is considered and will be impeccably delivered.”

The ‘Born of this Place’ narrative is reflected in ‘marine-inspired’ forms that jut dramatically above and over the ocean and continue through the inspired design of Muir’s interiors, which were designed by Canada’s acclaimed Studio Munge. Muir is a celebration of honest design created with premium, authentic materials and quality craftsmanship. Bespoke furniture and lighting, designed and crafted in Canada, reflect a modern interpretation of East Coast design and offers comfort, productivity and a distinct quality of warmth and welcome. Each guestroom proudly features local original art and virtually every room has captivating waterfront views.

Muir’s amenities, services and experiences are thoughtful and distinctive. Business travel is enhanced with high-quality food and beverage venues, exclusive car and driver service, a central business district location, complimentary meeting rooms, and affiliation with Marriott Bonvoy. The ultra-premium Wellness Centre is equipped with vitality and cold plunge pools, a halotherapy salt room, high-performance equipment and workout studios.

Dining selections are curated and convenient, including Drift Salon which draws on local, seasonal ingredients to create modern, surprising interpretations of traditional Atlantic Canadian fare. From early breakfast to an evening nightcap, Drift is a culinary destination where guests and locals connect. A ‘secret’ speakeasy provides an exclusive ‘guests only’ experience, complete with a breathtaking waterfront terrace. Additional creative culinary options are included within the Queen’s Marque district.

Unique to Muir, guests can browse Muir’s Art Gallery, explore the extensive multi-million dollar public art collection throughout Queen’s Marque, and for an entirely different perspective, climb aboard Muir’s yacht or motorboat and see a side of this much-loved waterfront city locals know best. Muir is the first hotel in Nova Scotia to be affiliated with Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, a curated collection of the world’s most distinctive independent hotels, hand-selected for their inherent craft and distinct perspectives on design and hospitality.

“Whether you are travelling for business or for leisure, Muir offers something truly remarkable. It is an experience that is as singular in style, character, and spirit as the place that inspired it and will be a true cultural beacon for Halifax and beyond,” said Mr.McCrea.


Chicago — January 13, 2021 — Hotels are struggling to keep their doors open today, and many are unable to rehire full staff. Frontline employees fortunate enough to be working amidst the ongoing pandemic are wearing more hats and putting themselves at risk each day to deliver the highest levels of guest service in hopes of assuring travelers that their hotels are safe. To recognize these unsung heroes of hospitality, a new digital tipping solution has entered the hospitality scene to provide a contactless, cashless and “appless” enterprise system for digital gratuity with full reporting. Called youtip, the solution is simple and fast for tippers to use, as no app download is required.

“In today’s economy  ̶  even before COVID-19  ̶  businesses are choosing to go cash-free, including hotels, with many encouraging credit-card and contactless payments,” said Sarah Taveprungsenukul, youtip co-founder and CEO. “We’ve all been there. We want to tip service staff, such as the valet parking attendant, bellman or hotel housekeeper for jobs well done, but don’t have enough cash on hand to do so. Taking the time to download a gratuity app is inconvenient, especially for travelers who often find themselves in a time crunch to run to the ATM or who want to limit their exposure to handling germ ridden cash. We developed youtip as the easiest digital tipping solution in the market. Tippers simply scan a QR code displayed anywhere that is visible and convenient, such as a valet stand, on the in-room TV or smart speakers with digital displays, or on an employee’s badge/card. They can also click on links sent directly to them via text or email. This digital scan-and-tip system provides a quick and easy experience for guests and gives operators service feedback in seconds.”

youtip is the brainchild of Doug Miles, co-founder and COO, and a 20-year fintech veteran who too frequently found himself without the cash to tip during business travel. Noticing the rapid adoption of QR codes in the U.S. and smartphone cameras now having QR code reading capability, Miles dusted off an old idea to pitch to Taveprungsenukul, his long-time friend in hospitality. The duo also brought tech-solution developer and friend Nicholas Okuley, youtip co-founder and CTO, to the table to help finetune the offering.

“To achieve mass adoption, the solution had to be faster than cash,” Miles said. “youtip utilizes technology that already exists in your phone rather than requiring an app download. You just scan, tip and go. Our system routes the tip to the business’s bank account along with transaction reporting and guest feedback. This appless solution is a ‘first’ in hospitality, and we anticipate that it will change the way tips are transacted for the foreseeable future.”

Call for Integration Partners!

youtip can integrate with other critical business solutions, such as the property-management systems, point-of-sale systems, accounting/payroll solutions, service optimization systems, and voice/text technologies for hotels. Technology companies in the hospitality space who feel their solution, when tied to youtip, will further help hoteliers to recognize and reward today’s unsung heroes are encouraged to contact youtip at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

"By approaching the software with a focus on flexibility, we are able to not only offer a scalable standalone product, but also one that can be tailored to specific customer needs  ̶  whether to express their brand and personality, or seamlessly tie into existing infrastructure thanks to our various partner integrations,” Okuley said.

youtip is PCI compliant and utilizes the built-in security of Apple’s Apple Pay and Google’s G Pay. The company charges a convenience fee on every transaction to the person leaving the tip. QR codes can be leveraged to process both pooled and individual gratuities.

youtip is also ideal for charitable giving/fundraising campaigns. Businesses can use signage with a QR code tied to their charitable organization’s bank account to raise money in the field. Quick digital donations at events and during street fundraising initiatives can be a great way to enhance a fundraising tool kit.

“We are waiving system subscription fees through the end of 2021 to help the hospitality industry recover as quickly as possible,” Taveprungsenukul said, noting that charges may apply for design customizations and third-party integrations, such as PMS, payroll systems and branded mobile applications. “What we are most excited about through this technology launch is that youtip solves two key problems for the service industry: 1) Fewer people are carrying cash, and 2) increased demand for contactless services.”

For more information on youtip, visit For questions about business customization, integration, or enterprise deployment, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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