A national industry association is painting a bleak picture for hotel jobs – a key component of America’s tourism economy. According to data released this week by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), shutdowns related to the coronavirus pandemic “continue to have a devastating effect on the hotel industry and its employees.”
According to a survey of more than 1,200 “hotel industry owners, operators, and employees,” a whopping 87 percent reported having been forced to “lay off or furlough staff” because of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, 36 percent of respondents indicated they had been unable to bring back any of the workers they laid off or furloughed – and another 37 percent indicated they were only able to bring back half of their workers.
Other depressing data points …
- Only one in four hotels (24 percent) is back to a minimum of 60 percent of their pre-COVID staffing levels, while
- Just under one in three (29 percent) is still at or below 20 percent staffing
- Of the more than 600 hotel owner respondents, more than half stated that are in danger of losing their property to foreclosure by commercial real estate lenders due to COVID-19.
“It’s hard to overstate just how devastating the pandemic has been for the hotel industry,” AHLA president and chief executive officer Chip Rogers said in a statement. “We have never seen a crisis of this magnitude.”
South Carolina’s tourism industry has struggled in recent weeks to maintain its initial bounce back from the pandemic and its related lockdowns. It is not immediately clear how many tourism industry jobs have been lost in the Palmetto State since the Covid-19 recession began – but the early numbers were not encouraging.
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Also, two of the state’s top tourism epicenters – Myrtle Beach and historic Charleston, S.C. – are substantially less-than-safe at the moment.
If we come across any updated tourism employment data for South Carolina, we will be sure to pass that along to our readers … but the ripple effects of this recession obviously extend far beyond hotel jobs.
As we reported earlier today, gross domestic product for the second quarter of 2020 plunged by 32.9 percent – the worst quarterly reading ever.
Bottom line? It is absolutely imperative that America get back to work …
“Our nation simply cannot survive another round of economic inactivity,” we wrote recently. “Whatever you believe about the origins of this virus, whatever you believe about its potential lethality, whatever you believe about how it is transmitted, whatever you believe about the policies that have been implemented in response to it … and yes, whatever you believe about the politicians who would benefit/ suffer as a result of the course it takes in the future … another round of lockdowns is not the answer.“
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