WASHINGTON – A recent national survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) shows more than seven in ten U.S. citizens (71 percent) 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. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and U.S. Representative Charlie Crist (D-Fla.), will provide a lifeline to hotel employees with 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. 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.
The survey of 2,200 adults was conducted March 1 – March 3, 2021, by Morning Consult on behalf of AHLA. Key findings of the survey include the following:
- 71 percent of respondents support targeted economic relief for the hotel industry and its workforce.
- 79 percent of Democrats support targeted economic relief for the hotel industry and its workforce.
- 71 percent of Republicans support targeted economic relief for the hotel industry and its workforce.
- 60 percent 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 percent of all unemployed persons in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even starker, the unemployment rate in the accommodation sector specifically remains 225 percent higher than the rest of the economy.
While the leisure travel outlook continues to grow, the hotel industry is still hurting from this pandemic. Business travel is down 85 percent from pre-pandemic 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.