Return of leisure travel boosting Ohio’s hospitality industry; business travel still sorely missed

CLEVELAND — With COVID-19 vaccines now widely available, travel is increasing and hotels are welcoming more guests back and getting a boost to their bottom lines.

But experts in the hospitality industry say there’s still a long way to go before things can get back to where they were pre-pandemic.

“We actually closed our doors for about seven weeks last year, mid-April through the end of May, and never been through anything like it before,” said Bill Reed, the general manager of the Aloft Cleveland Downtown.

Now, business at the Aloft Cleveland Downtown is in a much better place.

“The weekends, which is all social travel, is as busy as it’s ever been before, even including pre-pandemic for Friday and Saturday nights right now,” said Reed.

Reed said it’s a different type of business than they’re used to.

Traditionally, many hotels’ bread and butter are the business travelers who come into town during the week, but those kinds of bookings…

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