MASSACHUSETTS — As many as 603 of the state’s 900 hotels will close without federal government assistance, the American Hotel & Lodging Association said in a report released Friday.
The report, which calls on Congress to pass a federal aid package for the lodging industry, said the state could lose an additional 12,939 hotel jobs on top of the 15,454 jobs it has already lost. The lodging sector employed 40,562 people in Massachusetts before the pandemic escalated in March.
In addition to people directly employed hotels, the association said 22,356 ancillary jobs, including people who work for parking vendors and restaurants located in hotels, have been lost since the start of the crisis. The report estimates another 22,906 of those jobs are at risk.
“Hotels are cornerstones of the communities they serve, building strong local economies and supporting millions of jobs,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, said. “Thousands of hotels across America are in jeopardy of closing forever, and that will have a ripple effect throughout our communities for years to come.”
Hotel occupancy in Boston was 34.8 percent in September, down from 84.2 percent a year ago. September’s occupancy rates have only slightly rebounded from March, the worst month for occupancy during the pandemic, when rates were 31.4 percent. On top of the low bookings, hotels are also losing revenue as conferences, functions and events are canceled.