The hotel industry is at a crossroads, and hotel operators don’t think there’s much time left. In a survey of more than 1,000 members—hotel owners, operators and employees—in mid-September, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) found that the hospitality industry remains on the brink of collapse.
And without aid from Congress, it’ll only get worse.
While the hospitality industry anxiously waits for Congress to pass another round of the CARES Act, more than 2/3 (67 percent) of hotel operators believe they will only be able to last six more months at current projected revenue and occupancy levels without further aid; 68 percent of hotel respondents have less than half their pre-crisis staff working full-time.
Seventy-four percent of hoteliers said they will be forced into more layoffs if additional governmental assistance is not given, and nearly half of hotel owners are in danger of foreclosure by commercial real estate lenders.
“It’s time for Congress to put politics aside and prioritize the many businesses and employees in the hardest-hit industries,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “These are real numbers, millions of jobs, and the livelihoods of people who have built their small business for decades, just withering away because Congress has done nothing,” Rogers said. “We can’t afford to let thousands of small businesses die, and all of the jobs associated with them, be lost for many years.”
Event planners themselves are fairing better than the hospitality industry as a whole. Only about half (57 percent) of event planners said their employment has been unaffected by the pandemic, according to a survey by PCMA.
Helping event planners weather the storm is the ability to move events into the virtual landscape: 70 percent of respondents have turned their live events virtual. Six percent of event planners said they’ve had to lay off team members, a small fraction when compared to hoteliers.
AHLA has urged members to “Save Hotel Jobs,” an initiative for hoteliers across the United States to get lawmakers to pass additional relief. This effort has resulted in more than 200,000 letters, calls and tweets to members of Congress.