The Orlando area is still reeling from the effects of this year’s pandemic. Theme parks are seeing tourists return, but resorts remain challenged.
For starters, it’s had a ripple effect through taxation. Effects of virus caused biggest loss in history for Orange County tourism tax dollars. Orange County was on par for a record year in tourist development tax dollars, according to comptroller Phil Diamond. He said due to the coronavirus, tourist development tax collections were down by more than 56% in March. Diamond said hotels are the biggest contributors to that tax income that supports projects like convention center renovations and funding for arts organizations and downtown venues.
S&P Global Ratings said in a new report that a “solid recovery isn’t likely” until 2023 — and that’s based on a widely available vaccine becoming available in the second half of 2021.
In a worrisome stat for hotel companies, year-over-year revenue per available room, which is a closely watched metric for gauging hotel health, has decreased 50% in 2020. S&P forecasts that will rebound slightly in 2021, but will still remain between 20% and 30% lower compared to 2019. A full recovery to pre-Covid levels isn’t expected for another few years.
S&P has slashed ratings on about 75% of all rated U.S. lodging companies since April. The downgrades spread to other travel-related industries including theme parks and cruise lines.
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