American Hotel & Lodging Association

Chip Rogers, President and CEO

Nearly two years into the pandemic, the hotel industry remains at a pivotal point. 2020 was the single most economically devastating year in the history of the hotel industry, with 10 years of job growth wiped out. But thanks to the widespread availability of vaccines beginning in the spring of 2021, people began traveling again. The industry’s outlook improved, with a strong leisure travel market, slowly improving group business and the reopening of the country to international travelers.

Still, according to hospitality data company STR, when adjusted for inflation, revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key measurement of hotel performance, will likely remain below 2019 levels until at least 2025.

While the hotel industry’s outlook for the future is more encouraging than it was one year ago, many hotels have spent the past two years well below the break-even point, relying on reserves to cover expenses. Even if performance improves in 2022, hotels still have a long way to go before achieving true recovery.

The sudden emergence of the Omicron variant is bringing uncertainty to our industry’s outlook and threatening a nascent recovery. At the time of this writing, we don’t yet know the full extent of how Omicron will impact hotel stays. But declines in travel, such as those we saw in the wake of the Delta variant, have major repercussions for hotel employment – especially for urban hotels, which have disproportionately struggled throughout the pandemic and whose recovery has been slower. The immediate future for the conventions, events, and business travel – all key drivers of hotel revenue – is unclear due to this variant-induced spike in cases. Higher gas prices are also further working to depress leisure travel demand.

Additionally, labor shortages are making it difficult for some hotels to meet what demand they have in key markets, further complicating the industry’s recovery. Hotels are expected to end 2022 with 2.19 million employees—down 166,000 or 7% compared to 2019, according to an analysis from Oxford Economics and data from STR, reflecting continued headwinds in the labor market that many industries are experiencing.

All of this underscores why we need Congress to support targeted federal relief for the hotel employees and small businesses who need it most. Despite being among the industries hardest hit by the pandemic, hotels are the only segment of the hospitality and leisure sector yet to receive direct COVID-related aid.

Key Takeaway

  • Compared to 2019, the hotel industry lost a total of more than $111 billion in room revenue in 2020 and 2021, according to an analysis from Oxford Economics and data from STR.

American Gaming Association

Bill Miller, President & CEO

After a tumultuous two years which whipsawed from the closure of all 989 U.S. casinos to the unprecedented demand today, 2021 commercial gaming revenue will surpass $50 billion for the first time ever, and both consumer and gaming executive sentiment point to a strong start to 2022.

A textbook V-shape recovery, the American Gaming Association (AGA) estimates 2021 will rebound from a record low $29.9B revenue in 2020 to pass the previous gaming revenue record—$43.6 billion set in 2019—by more than 15 percent. Tribal gaming is similarly coming back strong and sales for casino suppliers are up. This remarkable turnaround is a direct result of our industry’s leadership on health and safety and our consistent focus on providing a world-class, responsible entertainment experience.

The recovery of brick-and-mortar casinos has been most significant, given they were hit hardest by COVID restrictions and closures. From January to October, traditional revenue totaled $34.2 billion, topping pre-pandemic levels by double-digits. Sports betting and iGaming also experienced tremendous growth, recording $6.1 billion in revenue through October. Eleven states launched sports betting in 2021 while two states launched iGaming.

This isn’t just good news for the gaming industry. We are sparking an economic revival in the 44 states with legal gaming, generating billions in tax revenue and boosting local budgets that were hit hard by COVID-19.

Looking forward to next year, consumers’ plans to visit a casino have reached their highest levels since the start of the pandemic and the AGA Gaming CEO Outlook shows gaming executives are overwhelmingly positive about the short-term industry outlook. Nearly half of gaming executives expect future conditions will continue to improve driven by anticipated increases in new hiring, wage growth and capital investment. That said, CEOs remain concerned about supply chain issues and labor shortages as inhibitors to growth.

While our industry’s boom is providing more legal wagering options for consumers than ever before, the illegal gambling market is still pervasive and a detriment to gaming’s continued growth. Whether it’s illegal sports betting or gray market machines, federal and state governments must focus on enforcing the law and rooting out these bad actors.

We also continue to push for sensible regulation to stimulate the safe return of meetings and events as well as business and international travel. These slow-to-return verticals are important to our growth in 2022.

To ensure a full, sustained recovery of the gaming industry, the AGA will advocate for policies that enhance industry competitiveness, advance the economy, and support a steady workforce and robust supply chain.

Key Takeaway

  • In 2021, the casino gaming industry set an all-time revenue record and is on pace to be the first-ever year with $50 billion in commercial gaming revenue.