WASHINGTON, DC—As Congress considers additional stimulus legislation to address the economic and health fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, AAHOA highlighted specific steps lawmakers can take to help the hotel industry in a letter to Congressional leadership. The letter, also signed by AHLA, the Latino Hotel Association, and the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers, outlined five key areas where congressional action can help speed the industry’s recovery while ensuring the health and wellbeing of hospitality workers and guests. These include provisions to benefit employees, safe harbor provisions for hotels, industry solvency, technical corrections to Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs, and the incentivization of travel and tourism.
“It is imperative that our lawmakers take concrete steps to ensure the viability of our travel and tourism industry as this health crisis persists,” said AAHOA President & CEO Cecil P. Staton. “From protecting employees and providing limited safe harbor to hotels that abide by proper public health guidelines to supporting small businesses using relief programs and ensuring industry solvency, Congress can make a real difference in assisting one of the industries hit hardest by this crisis.”
Hotels are a signal industry that felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic at its onset as guests cancelled vacations and business travel. Hotel owners and employees alike are being hit hard by this pandemic. The industry could be one of the last to recover as more testing and fewer illnesses provide a cautious public greater confidence to resume pre-pandemic activities and eventually travel outside their communities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the leisure and hospitality industry lost 7.7 million jobs in April, and Oxford Economics reported that nearly four million hotel workers have been furloughed or laid off since the pandemic’s onset. The hotel industry could lose more than $120 billion this year, nearly 50 percent of its total revenue.