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Millions are still furloughed or laid off and travel demand is lagging behind normal levels, according to a report the American Hotel & Lodging Association released on Monday.
The report is on the state of the hotel industry six months into the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Labor Day weekend hotel bookings are down 65% year-over-year.
- Four out of 10 hotel employees aren’t working.
- Urban hotels are seeing 38% occupancy rates.
- Almost two-thirds (65%) of hotels remain at or below 50% occupancy, which is below the threshold at which most hotels can break even and pay debt.
- Consumer travel remains at all-time low, with only 33% of Americans reporting they have traveled overnight for leisure or vacation since March and just 38% saying they are likely to travel by the end of the year.
“While hotels have seen an uptick in demand during the summer compared to where we were in April, occupancy rates are nowhere near where they were a year ago,” AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers said in a news release. “Thousands of hotels can’t afford to pay their mortgages and are facing the possibility of foreclosure and closing their doors permanently.”
Hoteliers are urging Congress to help the industry by approving a targeted extension of the Paycheck Protection Program, establishing a commercial mortgage backed securities market relief fund and making structural changes to the Main Street Lending Facility so they can access that program.
“We are incredibly worried about the fall and what the drop in demand will mean for the industry and the millions of employees we have been unable to bring back,” Rogers said. “The job loss will be devastating to our industry, our communities, and the overall American economy. We need urgent, bipartisan action from Congress now. … Our industry is in crisis.”
Arkansas Business will update this story.