HOUSTON – Houston’s travel and tourism industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotels, bars and restaurants, and airports that pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the regional economy each year have shed tens of thousands of jobs since March.
But there are some signs that a slow recovery is underway.
Air travel rebounding
In May, daily passenger counts at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport were near 200,000, which was a 90% drop from the previous year. But earlier this week, nearly 900,000 passengers came through the airport. It’s a sign that air travel is heading in the right direction and some of the thousands of jobs lost during the pandemic could soon come back.
Three of the largest airlines in the world, United, American, and Delta, announced they were eliminating change fees permanently.
Still, experts say it could be a couple of years before the industry completely recovers.
Houston hotels still struggling
But the outlook for the Houston area’s hotel industry isn’t as clear.