BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The hotel industry was hit harder here in Boston than almost anywhere else during the pandemic: hotels in the city came in second to last for revenue compared to hotels in two-dozen other major U.S. cities this past May.
But with the U.S. ban on international travelers from 33 countries lifted on Monday, hotel managers in Boston are breathing a sigh of relief.
Paul Sullivan with the Liberty Hotel in Beacon Hill said bookings started pouring in as soon as the lifting of the ban was announced.
"We started to see the reservations and the inquiries coming in right away," he said.
He said some of those people booking are families looking to reunite, corporate types eager to travel freely — and Canadian hockey fans coming to see the Bruins. Sullivan said the opened borders are bringing a wide variety of other people back to Boston, including patients needing to visit Mass. General Hospital.
"From a business point of view, from a leisure point of view, medical, all of it is a huge home run for us, to have these borders back open."
Sullivan and Mark Fischer with the Revere Hotel in downtown estimate they won't fully recover until 2023.
Labor shortages and supply chain issues are still plaguing the hotels, Sullivan said:
"[It's] simple things such as having enough linen to be able to do housekeeping every single day," Sullivan said.
Another uphill battle is getting big corporate meetings and conventions to come back. But for now: it's go time.
WBZ's Madison Rogers (@madisonwbz) reports: