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New York City Hotel Prices Reach Record High Amid Migrant Crisis And Travel Resurgence: What Travelers Need To Know

New York City's hotel prices have skyrocketed to record highs, reaching an average of $301 per night in 2023, fueled by a convergence of factors including the migrant crisis, travel resurgence, and economic inflation.

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NYC Hotel Rooms Reach Record High With Average $301 In 2023 Photo: Pexels
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In 2023, the cost of hotel rooms in NYC soared to a record average of $301 per night, as reported by The New York Times. But why are hotels in NYC so expensive now? Factors such as Airbnb and inflation contributed to this increase, but the migrant crisis also played a significant role. With numerous hotels converted into migrant shelters, the supply of available rooms dwindled. As a result, travelers planning trips to New York City should anticipate spending more money than ever on accommodation.

CoStar, a commercial and residential real estate provider, noted that in 2022, the average daily cost of a hotel room in New York was approximately $278, highlighting the significant rise in 2023 with $301 per night. Additionally, data from January to March 2024 showed an average nightly rate of around $231, compared to $216 during the same period in the previous year.

The rise in prices in New York City isn't solely due to increased travel. Other factors contributing to this include the disruption of the Airbnb rental market, inflation, and a decrease in the pace of new hotel construction.

As per recent reports from The New York Times, the migrant crisis has also led to a surge in hotel rates. Numerous hotels started accommodating migrants during the pandemic, with some exclusively catering to this demographic.

This has decreased the availability of rooms and contributed to increased prices for guests seeking accommodations throughout the city. According to reports from the Times, approximately 135 out of nearly 700 hotels in New York City are currently providing shelter to asylum seekers. These hotels reportedly earn up to $185 per room nightly, as stated by the city. The Times also noted that none of the hotels that transitioned to housing migrants have returned to operating as traditional hotels.

Based on CoStar data, hotels currently housing migrants have designated approximately 16,500 rooms, reducing the available hotel supply to nearly 122,000 rooms for travelers. This translates to approximately 2,800 fewer rooms available for travelers in the city compared to the period just before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

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NYC Hotels Photo: Pexels
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Daniel H. Lesser, president and chief executive of LW Hospitality Advisors, told the Times, "During peak periods, try getting a hotel on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night in midtown Manhattan, and, if you can, you could end up paying dearly. It's all supply-and-demand related, and the migrant rooms have reduced the amount of supply."

Immigration has become a central theme of the 2024 presidential campaign, with President Joe Biden facing significant disapproval from voters regarding his handling of the issue. Former President Donald Trump, on the other hand, is leveraging immigration as a rallying point to garner support from Republicans and Independents for his campaign.

Since 2022, over 180,000 migrants have arrived in New York City, with tens of thousands being sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in protest of President Biden's immigration policies. Mayor Eric Adams has grappled with significant financial and logistical hurdles in accommodating these migrants.

The New York City hotel market experienced a severe downturn in 2020 as business travel plummeted, and the city, once the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, struggled to recover from the resulting economic fallout. However, the hotel market in the city experienced a substantial resurgence last year. According to The Wall Street Journal, the city could potentially see a $380 million increase in hotel revenue this year. If these projections materialize, it would mark a remarkable turnaround for the travel industry in the face of the pandemic's challenges.

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