Below is a brief excerpt from a complimentary research note from our Gaming, Lodging, and Leisure (GLL) analysts Todd Jordan and Sean Jenkins. If you are an institutional investor interested in accessing our research please email

The End of Business Travel as We Know It? - 7 21 2020 10 13 51 AM


Permanently impaired business travel has been a theme of ours for a while now (please email for our most recent hotel deck).

Corroborating our thesis, “U.S. Airlines Face End of Business Travel as They Knew It” read a headline in a Bloomberg story yesterday, and it immediately caught our attention. Could it have just been an opinion piece with supporting evidence?

No, in fact, these words came directly from airline industry participants that have skin in the game.

The article was following on, Delta CEO, Ed Bastian’s quote last week which said “I don’t think we’ll ever get back entirely to where we were in 2019 on the volume of business traffic.” Again, a bold statement by an industry veteran who relies heavily on the frequent road warriors. 

Further in the article other consultants for the airline industry surmised that even looking 18-24 months out, business travel could remain at least 25% below pre pandemic levels. These are all pretty strong claims, but they do jive with a lot of the work we have done on the hotel side, which suggest that there could be permanent impairments to business hotel demand. 

Over the next 2yrs+, we think higher end urban hotel owners and brands will find it difficult to reaccelerate growth than the broader industry, as their business more heavily relies on that core corporate traveler. Remote work connectivity and the forced usage of new technology do make this time a bit different than prior downturns.

Fewer business travel room nights will inevitably open the demand channels to more leisure business and likely more robust usage of the bigger OTAs which can drive incremental demand.  We think this theme is just in its very early days.

But in the more shorter term, even Marriott (MAR) CEO Arne Sorenson admits he’s grown less optimistic on the hotel industry than he was just 30 days ago.    


5 months or more into the global pandemic and the world is gradually beginning to reopen itself – emphasis on the word “gradually.”

The map below provided by Kayak indicates each country and their respective travel policy as it currently stands. Different shades of red and green determine the level of each country’s “openness” and as is pretty clear, there’s not a whole lot of openness out there in the World.

The End of Business Travel as We Know It? - map


Parts of the Caribbean are gradually reopening, although the Bahamas just shut itself off to the US, additionally parts of Africa and Eastern Europe are beginning to open up. 

However, the world’s biggest travel destinations in Europe and Asia are still very much closed, and it doesn’t appear that much will be changing in the near term.  

As of today, only ~15% of the World is open for travelers, which is a start vs a few months ago, but the road towards robust inter-country / fluid global travel is still a ways off. We’ll keep tabs on this data and clear depiction of the state of global travel.