WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Tuesday, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released a statement from its president and CEO, Chip Rogers, on the American Rescue Plan, which he called, “a vital step forward in helping small businesses stay open and protecting jobs.” The plan includes many provisions that AHLA has advocated for to aid in the recovery of the industry, Rogers noted.
“We applaud President Joe Biden for recognizing that small businesses need more help to get through this difficult time and we urge Congress to act immediately. By bolstering the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and allocating grants to hard-hit small businesses, including the leisure and hospitality sector, this legislation will serve as a critical lifeline for hotels and other businesses that have been decimated by the pandemic,” Rogers said.
Rogers noted that the pandemic’s impact on the industry has been significant. “COVID-19 has wiped out 10 years of hotel job growth,” Rogers explained. “Leisure and hospitality accounted for 39 percent of all jobs lost since the onset of the pandemic—more than any other sector. Hotels will remain nearly 500,000 jobs below the industry’s pre-pandemic employment level of 2.3 million employees in 2021.”
“While the vaccine rollout has begun, it will likely take months to widely distribute, and travel is not expected to return to 2019 levels until at least 2023,” Rogers continued. “Once this bill is passed, Congress should immediately focus on additional support for the hardest-hit industries. After the most devastating year on record for hotels, we will need additional support to retain and rehire our associates, revive our local communities, and restart our economy.”