WASHINGTON, D.C. — With new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing the extent of job loss in the hospitality and leisure industry, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today released a “Roadmap to Recovery,” calling on Congress to prioritize relief for hotel workers and small businesses in the next stimulus package. The April Jobs Report showed the hospitality and leisure industry was the hardest hit, losing 7.7 million jobs—nearly as many jobs as the next four sectors combined.
In a letter submitted to Congress, AHLA urged lawmakers to provide immediate assistance in these four areas:
- Help hotels retain and rehire employees by extending the Paycheck Protection Program, offering employees direct tuition assistance or tax credits, and expanding the Employee Retention Credit.
- Protect employees and guests through tax credits for cleaning equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Keep hotel doors open by providing relief for hotel commercial mortgages and increasing the size and flexibility of PPP loans.
- Incentivize Americans to travel again when it’s safe with a new, temporary travel tax credit and restoring the entertainment business expense deduction.
This year is projected to be the worst on record for hotel occupancy, and experts estimate it will be at least 2022 before hotels return to their 2019 occupancy and revenue levels. So far, the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry has been nine times worse than that of September 11, 2001, according to a report from Tourism Economics. In a recent survey of AHLA members, more than eight in 10 hotel employees said they have had to lay off or furlough workers, and just 37 percent have been able to rehire any staff through economic relief measures such as PPP.