Business travelers and meetings at Baton Rouge hotels has been on the rise since Louisiana lifted its COVID-19 restrictions.
The Renaissance Hotel has had an overall increase in guests over the past few months, with general manager Nathaniel Tannehill saying the hotel has had 75% occupancy for consecutive months.
While the majority are leisure travelers, business travel is coming back slowly, he says. Many big corporations haven’t released workers to start traveling again, but he expects more will in the fourth quarter.
Business travels at Hotel Indigo is up 20% of late, with Sheena White, a front desk staffer, saying the hotel’s meeting rooms, closed during the pandemic, are back in use.
It’s a similar story at The Cook Hotel, on LSU’s campus, where occupancy is up 40% since restrictions eased, says Consuela Gowan, assistant general manager, adding some 25% of guests are in town for business.
This is mostly due to the LSU campus opening back up, she says. More guests are in town for meetings and job interviews, Gowan adds. Some meeting spaces in the hotel and conference center have been rented out by local businesses, something she attributes to higher vaccination rates.
“Local businesses are wanting to get back to normal,” Gowan says. “It’s something we can look forward to in terms of the economy coming back.”