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September 5, 2017
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Americas: Will Hurricane Harvey Have Lasting Effects on the Hospitality Industry?


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Texas National Guardsmen assist residents affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey onto a military vehicle in Houston. // Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West
Texas National Guardsmen assist residents affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey onto a military vehicle in Houston. // Army National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West

Global data benchmarking and analytics firm STR (formerly Smith Travel Research) has taken what it learned from Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy to forecast potential effects Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath may have on the U.S. hospitality industry. Among them, according to this article in Hotel News Now, are:

  • Hurricane Katrina led to a roughly 25 percent drop in Louisiana hotel room supply in the year after it made landfall, which in turn led to a U.S. supply loss of 0.5 percent. While it’s still uncertain which hotels in and around Houston and other affected areas Harvey closed for business, “It is not a stretch to assume that the supply decline in and around Houston will affect the national numbers,” writes Jan Freitag in the article. According to an article in The Commercial Appeal, Freitag told the Southern Lodging Summit held in Memphis on August 30 that, if Harvey’s impact on Texas and Louisiana is comparable to Katrina’s on Louisiana in 2005, “The U.S. supply number is going to decrease by 2 percent.” STR’s 2018 projections pre-Harvey were for a 2.1 percent increase in room supply. 

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