The COVID-19 novel coronavirus has had devastating impacts across the entire economy and on travel industries. Hotel leaders recently met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to explore potential aid options.
Last week, executives from Best Western Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and more joined the highest-ranking members of the executive branch to explore options that could help keep hotels in business in the face of a global pandemic.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association, present at the meeting, estimates 4 million jobs have already been lost in the industry or are on the verge of being lost in the next few weeks.
“The pandemic represents the single-largest decline in travel in modern times,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO, AHLA. “The impact to our industry is already more severe than anything we’ve seen before, including September 11th and the great recession of 2008 combined.”
Actions taken by the federal government, Rogers said, could immediately help save countless jobs and provide relief for hospitality employees industry-wide.
The study Rogers referenced regarding 4 million jobs also said the hospitality industry results in a $180 billion hit to earned wages and $300 billion hit to the GDP.
The hotel industry supports more than 8.3 million jobs and pays nearly $100 billion in yearly wages. In addition to the big corporations, more than 33,000 hotels are small businesses.
“The coronavirus represents a global economic emergency as well as a global health emergency, and the impact it will have on the hospitality industry is unprecedented. Even as we’re currently managing this issue to keep our guests and colleagues safe, and hotel owners secure, we’re committed to doing everything we can to protect the future of the millions of Americans employed by the hotel industry and prepare to expedite a return to normal once this crisis passes,” said Elie Maalouf, CEO, Americas, InterContinental Hotels Group.
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For the next several weeks, we are compiling the thoughts and experiences of our staff, writers and readers about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As a travel publication, we’ve all been affected during these difficult times, as have many of our clients, friends, partners and more.
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