In a Wall Street Journal article today, a University of Central Florida economist described the pandemic-recovery tourism demand this way: “What we have is pent-up demand squared. You have this traditional concept of pent-up demand, but it’s coupled with the fact that people were literally pent-up in their homes. Those two types of pent-up demand are being unleashed.”
Pent-up demand squared. It’s a fascinating construct that helps explain why Springwood’s portfolio-wide revenue last month beat June 2019 revenue by a whopping 25%, yet our room count only grew by 11% over the same period. And the demand is getting stronger as we look at forward reservations for July and August.
The Journal article goes on to describe, “The scene unfolding on the ground is akin to what might happen if every guest at a giant wedding showed up days early.” This is happening against a backdrop of a severe labor shortage.
The article goes on to say, “Hotels with staffing gaps are having to make tricky decisions: Sell as many rooms as possible and figure things out on the fly, or purposely drop occupancy to preserve quality – and avoid bad reviews.” Springwood is aware of hotels in our markets that are shutting down entire floors because there is simply no one to clean the rooms.
The strangest 16 months in the history of the hospitality industry are quickly turning into the strangest 18 months… It’s a credit to the amazing Springwood team that we’ve missed very few opportunities to sell rooms due to lack of labor.
When you travel this summer, please tip your housekeeper. They made the decision to show up to clean your room, while some of their friends opted to stay home. These folks – the ones who show up to serve you – are champions who should be celebrated this Fourth of July as an important part of what makes America great.