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70 percent of hotel employees have been laid off or furloughed

70 percent of hotel employees have been laid off or furloughed
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The hotel and lodging industry has laid off or furloughed 70 percent of hotel employees, according to data released on Thursday.

Full-service hotels typically employ 50 people on average and now employ 14, while resort hotels typically employ 90 people on average and now employ five, an American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) report found. 

AHLA also found that 8 in 10 hotel rooms are empty and 2020 is projected to be the worst year on record in the U.S. for hotel occupancy. 

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“Hotels were one of the first industries affected by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover. The CARES Act was an important first step with a lot of supportive measures for the hotel industry, but we need Congress to make important changes to the program to reflect the current economic reality and help the employees in the industries that have been impacted the most,” AHLA CEO Chip Rogers said in a statement, referring to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

The CARES Act, which Congress passed in March, gave $377 billion in loans and loan forgiveness for small travel businesses. AHLA, in an effort with the U.S. Travel Association, had requested $150 billion in overall relief to the broader travel sector.

The report included worse data than AHLA initially predicted. In a press call with reporters in March, Rogers said hotel occupancy had fallen “somewhere between 10 and 20 percent in major markets.” 

The effect the coronavirus has had on the travel industry is nine times worse than after 9/11 and the occupancy rate for 2020 will be worse than in 1933 during the Great Depression, according to the AHLA data.

Rogers also predicted in March that the coronavirus will have a more “severe economic impact on the hotel industry than 9/11 and the 2008 recession combined.”