New Data Shows COVID-19's Impact on Hotel Industry

Image: PHOTO: Hotel signage promoting social distancing. (photo via JannHuizenga/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Image: PHOTO: Hotel signage promoting social distancing. (photo via JannHuizenga/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
Patrick Clarke
by Patrick Clarke
Last updated: 12:30 AM ET, Tue August 4, 2020

A new study conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) sheds additional light on the extent of the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the hospitality industry.

Nearly nine in 10 hotels have been forced to lay off or furlough employees due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 crisis, according to the July 23-27 survey of more than 1,200 AHLA members.

Meanwhile, only 37 percent of hotels have been able to bring back at least half of their full-time employees while 36 percent have been unable to bring any of their furloughed or laid-off workers back to full-time employment.

Less than one-quarter (24 percent) of respondents are back to a minimum of 60 percent of their pre-COVID staffing levels and almost one-third (29 percent) are still at or below 20 percent staffing, AHLA's research found.

Finally, more than half of the 600 hotel owners that responded indicated that they are now in danger of losing their property to foreclosure by commercial real estate lenders. As a result, AHLA is urging hoteliers to reach out to their local lawmakers for relief, declaring July 29 a National Day of Action to Save Hotel Jobs.

"It's hard to overstate just how devastating the pandemic has been for the hotel industry. We have never seen a crisis of this magnitude," AHLA president and CEO Chip Rogers said in a statement accompanying last week's survey results. "We are encouraged to see many of AHLA's industry priorities included in the Senate package released this week. We urge Congress to direct help to the industries and employees that need it the most, and to move swiftly to support them."

"It is critical that Congress hear directly from hoteliers so that you get the help you need," added Rogers. "Hotels have a presence in every congressional district in America, building strong local economies and supporting millions of jobs. 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."

AHLA has been pushing for government relief for months now, previously stating that the hotel industry was on the "brink of collapse."


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