- The US hospitality industry is struggling to weather the coronavirus pandemic. And it’s about to see even more layoffs, according to a new report from the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA).
- A survey of 1,000 hotels conducted in mid-September found that almost 75% of hotels anticipate more layoffs before the end of the year. As it is, most hotels are operating with less than half of their pre-pandemic staff.
- The AHLA’s president said in a statement that without government assistance, the hospitality industry will continue to struggle for years to come.
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Hotels across the US furloughed countless workers at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic in March.
Since then, it’s become clear that the hospitality industry has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. But the industry isn’t recovering — and the layoffs likely won’t stop coming.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) just released the results of a survey of more than 1,000 hotels conducted in mid-September. It found that most are preparing for the worst — the majority of hotels are anticipating making major changes to keep up with costs, like laying off even more staff in an industry where the unemployment rate is already as high as 38%. Some may permanently close.
Nearly 75%, or three out of four hotels surveyed, reported that further layoffs will be necessary to keep hotels open through the end of the year without government assistance. Meanwhile, 32% reported anticipating bankruptcy and 42% reported anticipating closure by the end of the year.
The figures further spell out how difficult recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will continue be for the hospitality industry. Right now, roughly 68% of hotels are operating with less than half of their pre-COVID staff, according to the survey. Impending layoffs will only add to the scores of hospitality workers who are currently looking for a job: A separate AHLA analysis from August found that 40% of those employed in hotels in February are still out of work. Many will remain unemployed until travel demand begins to tick back up.
In a Monday statement, AHLA President Chip Rogers said travel demand is expected to remain stunted through the year and the only way to bolster the hospitality industry’s recovery is through government assistance, like additional PPP loans or an expanded Main Street Lending Program. “Hotels are the cornerstones of the communities they serve, building strong local economies, and supporting millions of jobs,” Rogers said. “Every member of Congress needs to hear from us about the urgent need for additional support so that we can keep our doors open and bring back our employees.”