WASHINGTON, D.C. – Later this afternoon, the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s (AHLA) president and CEO, Chip Rogers, along with U.S. Travel Association’s (USTA) president and CEO, Roger Dow, will join leading hotel industry CEOs to host a press-conference. The call will follow a meeting with vice-president Pence and White House officials where they will discuss the industry’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the catastrophic economic impact on the hotel industry, its employees and U.S. economy.
The coronavirus has already had a more severe economic impact on the hotel industry than 9/11 and the recession combined. The U.S. hotel industry supports 8.3 million jobs across the country – that equates to one in 25 American jobs – and provides $660 billion in GDP (gross domestic product). The 33,000 small business hotel operators and franchise owners represent 61 per cent of the industry.
Given the current impact of the coronavirus pandemic on travel demand, the hotel industry is losing $1.4 billion in revenue every week. Based on current estimates, approximately one million direct hotel jobs, or 45 per cent of all hotel jobs, have either been eliminated or will be eliminated in the next few weeks. Current forecasts for a 30-per-cent drop in hotel occupancy over a full year would result in nearly four million total jobs being lost.
As a result of the significant decline in consumer and business travel demand, as well as group bookings, industry leaders from Best Western, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott, MGM, Pebblebrook, Universal and The Walt Disney Company are meeting with the White House and Congress to recommend urgent action and specific solutions to protect millions of hotel industry jobs which directly impact both the U.S. and local economy, as well as provide relief to its employees and small business owners.