Survey: Most AHLA Members Expect Hotel Staffing Levels to Remain Low Through 2020

bell at the front desk

More than eight out of 10 hotels (84 percent) have laid off or furloughed staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the travel industry, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s latest Front Desk Feedback survey of AHLA members conducted between May 12-14, 2020. Of the more than 900 respondents, 37 percent have been able to rehire or bring back staff through economic relief measures like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The survey also found that two in three hotels are operating at less than 50 percent of pre-COVID staffing levels. Just over half of respondents (52 percent) don’t expect to return to pre-COVID staffing until the end of the year or later: 20 percent said they would be back to pre-COVID staffing levels by June 30, 28 percent said by August 31, 14 percent by December 31, and 38 said their pre-COVID staffing levels wouldn’t return until next year or later.

The report follows results of AHLA’s first Front Desk Feedback survey, which were released on May 7. Conducted between April 28-30, the survey showed that while nearly all of the 900 respondents (more than 95 percent) reported applying for a PPP and/or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and 79 percent reported that they were approved for one or both, more than 50 percent said that the loan amount is not enough to rehire their staff.

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