[NPR Marketplace] 2023 was a big year for the hotel industry. Has its recovery peaked?

Last year, IHG’s earnings climbed above $1 billion for the first time. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

InterContinental Hotels Group — which owns Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and others — reported on Tuesday that it had good earnings in 2023. The company made more money per room last year and increased its profits to over $1 billion for the first time. 2023 was a big recovery year for a lot of hotels, but is it possible that the post-lockdown travel and lodging boom has peaked?

The first couple years of the pandemic were brutal for hotels. But Steven Carvell at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration says 2023 was an outstanding year.

“I don’t think people anticipated it back in 2022,” he said. “Everyone thought that we’d have a recession by now.” That recession never materialized, and Carvell says the strong economy boosted hotels across the board.

So far, leisure travel has been the key to the hotel industry’s comeback. But Kaushik Vardharajan at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration says in 2023 we saw that taper off a bit.

“I think 2024, you’ll continue to see leisure travel moderate,” said Vardharajan.

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