Amid concerns over COVID-19 and the impact the wide-spread virus is having across the nation and globe, hotels in the United States are feeling the pinch of it.
That includes in Florida where normally this is a busy time because of spring break. More than 88,000 direct hotel-related jobs have been lost or will be lost in the near future and more than 305,000 jobs that support the hotel industry are on that same track as well.
Nation-wide, 44% of hotel employees are projected to lose their jobs in the coming weeks, according to The American Hotel and Lodging Association. The association is projecting that at least 3.9 million jobs will be lost or are already lost in the industry.
AHLA also notes the impact the virus has had on the hotel industry is already cuts deeper than in the wake of Sept. 11 and the 2008 recession combined.
“The impact to our industry is already more severe than anything we’ve seen before,” AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers said.
Hotel CEOs met in Washington D.C. last week to discuss urgent economic recovery solutions that are needed to protect hotel employees and small businesses.
Hotels have resorted to either closing entirely for the time being, cutting back on staff that it has come in each day or laying off employees.
Howard Hospitality Hotels, which operates the Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Bouelvard, the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard and the Hyatt Place SanDestin at Grand Boulevard have all shut down until April 30.
“We have no plans to furlough or lay off our Howard Hospitality Staff,” vice president of hotels Tania Koehler said in a press release. “Our team is the heart and soul of our business. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to serve our guests and community.”
SpringHill Suites on Navarre Beach has gotten creative to try to counter the blow the crisis is dealing. It is offering special temporary workspace rates for those who are now confined to working at home because of the virus.
Florida ranks second nationally among direct hotel operations jobs lost. California is set to lose or has already lost a total of 125,454 jobs directly related to hotel operations. That is the highest in the nation. California is projected to lose a total of 414,069 hotel-supported jobs as well.
Roger Down, the U.S. Travel Association President and CEO, knows the industry is all but set on a course to only get worse before the recovery process begins.
“This unprecedented public health has quickly become a catastrophic economic crisis as well,” Dow said. “The losses for the travel industry alone are projected to double the unemployment rate over the next two months and plunge the country into a recession.”
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