AHLA: Hotels losing billions to COVID-19 pandemic

Millions of jobs have been lost or are expected to be eliminated

The U.S. hotel industry and related industries are expected to lose nearly 4 million jobs over the coming weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

THE U.S. HOTEL industry has lost billions of dollars so far as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutting of the nation’s economy, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. That loss of revenue is leading to layoffs and threatening jobs directly and indirectly related to the lodging industry.

Hotels have already lost $2.4 billion in room revenue since mid-February, according to AHLA’s COVID-19 website. At that pace the industry is losing $1.4 billion a week that the COVID-19 pandemic goes on and as Congress continues to debate a stimulus package to benefit hotels and other small businesses.

More than 1 million direct jobs and nearly 3.9 million total jobs have been eliminated or will be eliminated as a result of the crisis, based on current occupancy estimates for the immediate future and historical employment impact rates.

Occupancy is projected to slip below 20 percent for many individual hotels and large companies, according to AHLA. Often hotels close when occupancy goes under 35 percent.

“Most hoteliers are reporting projected revenue losses of greater than 50 percent for the first half of the year,” AHLA said. “The human toll is equally devastating with the majority of hoteliers as well as major hotel managers already reporting significant layoffs and furloughs, in many cases affecting 80 percent or more of staff.”