Jonathan Tisch, CEO of Loews Hotels, told CNBC on Friday that he saw signs that big events are about to return. This is a key element in the hotel industry’s recovery from the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are gradually seeing that groups are returning. We are very optimistic about group business in the third and fourth quarters of next year in 2022,” said Tisch in an interview with “Power Lunch”. “We see investment banks booking some of our hotels with large meetings. That is very optimistic.”
After the pandemic largely brought travel in the United States to a standstill last spring, the resumption of activities largely focused on people taking vacation trips, Tisch noted. However, business travel and group events such as meetings and conferences are vital for airlines and the hospitality industry.
“We won’t probably see a return to business travel numbers until after Labor Day that we will be happy with. International [travel] is a big question … and these events are really important, “said Tisch, who is also co-chair of Loews Corp. Loews Hotels is a subsidiary of the New York-based conglomerate.
The continued rollout of Covid vaccination in the US, where 100 million people have now been fully vaccinated, according to CDC data, is seen as critical to the serious return of these sizable events.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend “avoiding large events and gatherings,” according to their website. The health department relaxed its guidelines for fully vaccinated Americans and small gatherings earlier this week.
Tisch noted that in some parts of the United States, such as Texas and Las Vegas, major events are already taking place or are about to take place, but they are geographically inconsistent.
“If you look at the numbers in New York, we’ll get there, but we still have a long way to go,” said Tisch, also co-owner of the NFL’s New York Giants.
“We think if you can hopefully have an event like the US Open with fans, if you can have the UN General Assembly with attendees, if you can have the New York City Marathon with 35,000 runners, then we will be in that moment. ” I know we are back. “