The pandemic struck at the worst time for the Phoenix hotelmarket—during spring training and snowbird season. As expected andmuch like the rest of the country, the event devastated Phoenixhotel performance—but there is hope. While these two tourist groupsare important to Phoenix's travel industry, the market hasdiversified in recent years. Increased leisure travel and limitedreliance on convention travel will help to fuel a swiftrecovery.

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"In its favor, Phoenix, has a growing convention business and asteady number of international travelers, but those only make up asmall potion of the areas overall visitors. It is more diverse. Itisn't reliant on a certain type of demand," BrandenWhite of Western Division of CBRE HotelsAdvisory tells GlobeSt.com. "That should help to offermore flexibility moving forward compared to the other largemarkets."

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Julie Purnell of Western Division of CBREHotels Advisory agreed that a limited convention business wouldhelp the local recovery, particularly compared to larger markets."Phoenix demand is well distributed and not reliant on thatconvention market. Our view is that the convention traveler, as oneof the travel segments, will be the last to return because of thesocial distancing that is required going forward," she tellsGlobeSt.com. "Those very large conventions that fuel major cities,like Las Vegas and Anaheim, will probably take longer to recoverthan Phoenix, which is better distributed."

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A recent report from CBRE forecasts that Phoenix hotel demandwill rebound by 2022 and RevPAR will return to 2019 levels by 2023."Generally, the Phoenix market will mirror the national trends witha similar forecast of RevPAR recovering to near 2019 levels in 2023and possible late 2022," says White. "It is worth noting that theNFL Super Bowl is returning to Phoenix in 2023, which will providea boost in the early part of that year."

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Purnell also noted that Phoenix rates would rebound faster thandemand, which will impact RevPAR recovery. "We are forecasting thatthe ADR is going to return faster in Phoenix to 2019 levelssomewhere between 2022 and 2023. It is the occupancy that is goingto take longer to recover," she says. "As a result, RevPAR will beled by ADR growth rather than occupancy growth."

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However, there are still some uncertainties. Phoenix has had asurge in coronavirus cases and businesses were forced to close,again. This event wasn't included in the original report, and couldalter the forecast. In addition, the snowbird population could bedeterred from traveling in the future, which could also impact therecovery for hotels. "It will be interesting too to see if therewill be noticeable changes in the snowbird traffic going forward,and if those dynamics will change at all," says White.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.