Sep 2, 2020 - Economy

Hotels warn: "Our industry is in crisis"

Data: AHLA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Congress will return from its late summer recess soon and the hotel industry is pushing for new economic relief, warning that six months into the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. it "remains on the brink of collapse."

What it means: A new report from the American Hotel and Lodging Association finds that heading into Labor Day weekend, which would normally be a boom time for the industry, 14% of hotels are booked, compared to 41% in 2019, and overall demand remains well below normal levels.

  • 33% of Americans say they have traveled overnight for leisure or vacation since March, and only 38% say they are likely to do so by the end of the year. 
  • 16% of Americans plan to travel for Labor Day, 25% for Thanksgiving and 29% for Christmas.
  • Four out of 10 hotel employees have not returned to work.
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of hotels remain half full or less — the threshold at which most hotels can break even and pay debt.

Where it stands: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday urged Congress to pass another relief bill during a hearing before a congressional panel, saying he would call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to negotiate.

What they're saying: "Our industry is in crisis. Thousands of hotels are in jeopardy of closing forever, and that will have a ripple effect throughout our communities for years to come,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said in a statement.

  • "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."
  • "We need urgent, bipartisan action from Congress now."
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