The Biden administration lifting a COVID-19 related travel ban on international visitors on Monday is already proving to be a tailwind for hotelier Hyatt.
“This is a momentous day. Reopening the borders for vaccinated travelers is a really great step to take forward and re-engage. The day the Nov. 8 date was announced, we saw an instant surge in bookings. By the way, this week was up 50% overnight in terms of bookings. It just demonstrates what we have seen in virtually every segment of our industry, which is there is tremendous pent up demand for people to get back on the road,” said Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian on Yahoo Finance Live.
Today, the U.S. ended a pandemic travel ban on international visitors from 33 countries. The ban has lasted 19 months, and was first implemented by the Trump administration. International travelers will be required to show proof of vaccination and a recent negative test for COVID-19.
Hotels such as Hyatt and Airbnb are gearing up for a surge in visitors.
“Within one week of that announcement [Biden administration saying it would end the ban], we saw a 44% spike in nights booked for stays, crossing borders coming into United States on Airbnb for stays Nov. 9 and later, which is when the borders would open. So what we are seeing kind of across the board is evidence of pent-up demand,” Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky told analysts on a conference call last week.
The influx of international travelers will likely further fuel the recovery taking hold at Hyatt.
Hyatt’s third quarter net income tallied $241 million, much improved from a $150 million net loss a year ago. Revenue per available room (RevPar) improved year-over-year at Hyatt’s hotels in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Average daily rates increased in all geographic regions as well.
Hyatt shares are up 22% year-to-date, slightly lagging the S&P 500’s 25% return.