Much has been made of the economy recovery from Covid-19, and as vaccine distribution continues a sense of normalcy appears to be returning to many facets of life, though recovery has looked very different for different industries. Across the economy, and the country, no sectors were impacted as significantly as the travel and hospitality industries.

As an experienced hospitality lender across the Pacific Northwest, at Juniper we have seen the challenges of the last year firsthand. However, based on our experience thus far in 2021, booking data, and industry data, a light is appearing at the end of the tunnel.

2021 Travel Trends

Per VRBO’s 2021 Travel Trends Report, there is significant pent-up demand for travel and individuals are becoming increasingly comfortable booking trips this year:

  • 82% of families already have travel plans for 2021
  • 65% of families plan on traveling more than they did pre-COVID
  • 33% of families are willing to spend more on travel than they did previously did

Expedia Group’s 2021 Travel Trends Report echoes the optimism. Among some of its takeaways, travelers will take more trips and extend their vacations:

  • 44% will take more trips in 2021 than 2020, with younger generations traveling the most overall.
  • More than one in three respondents said their next trip will be a week or longer.

Meanwhile, many Covid-influenced travel trends may be here to stay:

  • 59% of families indicated they are more likely to drive than fly to a vacation
  • 61% of families indicated they are more likely to plan an outdoorsy vacation than an urban one
  • 51% of respondents indicated they plan on taking a road trip in 2021 (per Erie Insurance survey)

These trends could spell opportunity and are encouraging for local destinations such as Suncadia, Lake Chelan, and Walla Walla, WA; Bend, Cannon Beach, and Hood River, OR; Driggs, ID; and Whitefish, MT – and in turn, for hospitality/VRBO investors and operators in those markets.

Despite these encouraging travel trends, many banks remain hesitant to lend on hospitality properties. If you need a lending partner that understands hospitality properties and local markets, let Juniper’s experience and expertise get you to the finish line.

Juniper Capital provides private real estate financing, including hard money loans for commercial, construction, multi-family housing opportunities, and more. If you would like more information, give us a call to talk to one of our experienced loan officers and start the conversation today.