Hotels are only major hospitality and leisure segment yet to receive direct aid
Guest Editorial by the American Hotel & Lodging Association
A recent national survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) shows more than seven in 10 Americans (71%) support the federal government providing targeted economic relief to the hotel industry as called for in the Save Hotel Jobs Act. The legislation, introduced by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), will provide a lifeline to hotel employees, providing up to three months of full payroll support.
Recently, AHLA and UNITE HERE, the largest hospitality workers union in North America, joined forces to call on Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs Act. While many other hard-hit industries have received targeted federal relief, the hotel industry has not. In fact, hotels are the only major hospitality and leisure segment yet to receive direct aid. Without targeted relief from Congress, nationwide, hotels are expected to end 2021 down 500,000 jobs.
Key findings of the survey include the following:
√ 71% of respondents support targeted economic relief for the hotel industry and its workforce
√ 79% of Democrats support targeted economic relief for the hotel industry and its workforce
√ 71% of Republicans support targeted economic relief for the hotel industry and its workforce
√ 60% of independents support targeted economic relief for the hotel industry and its workforce
“While many other hard-hit industries have received targeted federal relief, the hotel industry has not. No industry has been harder hit by the pandemic, and the results of this survey make clear that Americans support targeted congressional action to keep hotel workers employed,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “After the most devastating year on record for hotels, we need additional support from Congress to retain and rehire our associates, revive our local communities and restart our economy.”
No industry has been more affected by the pandemic than hospitality. Leisure and hospitality has lost 2.8 million jobs during the pandemic that have yet to return, representing more than 25% of all unemployed persons in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even more stark, the unemployment rate in the accommodation sector specifically remains 225% higher than the rest of the economy.
While leisure travel outlook continues to grow, the hotel industry is still hurting from this pandemic. Business travel is down 85% from prepandemic levels and is not expected to fully return until 2024. Unlike leisure travel, which can often be booked or changed at the last minute, meetings and events are scheduled months, if not years, in advance. Major events, conventions and business meetings have also already been canceled or postponed until at least 2022.
This poll was conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of AHLA. The survey was conducted March 1-3 among a national sample of 2,200 adults. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, gender, educational attainment, race and region. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.0 percentage points.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association is the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry was the first industry impacted, and it will be among the last to recover. That is why AHLA is committed to promoting safe travel while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide through the “Safe Stay” initiative. With an enhanced set of health and safety protocols designed to provide a safe and clean environment for all hotel guests and employees, hotels across America are ready to welcome back travelers when they are ready to travel. Learn more at www.ahla.com.