STR’s latest School Break Report found fewer schools are using remote learning, but the surge of the COVID-19 delta variant could lead to more restrictions, meaning less travel in the fall. The report allows hotels to track school breaks when leisure travel is expected to increase, as well as times when schools are in session and therefore business may lessen unless business travel picks up.

IN ANOTHER SIGN that the COVID-19 pandemic is waning, fewer schools are using remote learning, according to STR’s latest School Break Report. The report allows hotel owners to track when schools are in session, likely leading to a drop in vacation travel, and on break, leading to a surge.

STR’s School Break Report samples U.S. public K-12 school districts, colleges and universities. The findings for the 2021-2022 school year show the Easter holiday in 2022 will be later than in last year’s report, pushing K-12 spring breaks from the first week of April in 2021 to the third week of April 2022. Also, as occurred last year, more students are receiving a long Presidents’ Day weekend in February 2022 compared with February 2021, which also was higher than the prior year.

“As we saw this past year during spring break and the summer, school breaks can greatly impact hotel performance,” said Brannan Doyle, research analyst at STR. “With more than half of K-12 and college students returning to school by Aug. 23, we can anticipate lower hotel performance towards the end of the month due to the lessened demand from family vacations, mixed with the continued lack of business travel. Hoteliers can use the School Break Report to anticipate higher demand from those long weekends and breaks, as weekend leisure trips have been especially popular throughout the pandemic.”

Doyle also pointed out that the spread of the COVID delta variant, which is leading to a surge in case numbers, could have an impact.

“Some areas implementing restrictions once again will likely put a pause on the increased business demand we expected to see in the fall,” Doyle said. “Hoteliers understand that school breaks and family trips are going to make up a large portion of market demand until business travel, conventions and conferences return.”