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With Upwards of 70% of Americans Not Traveling for Christmas, Hotel Industry Braces for More Pain

As the industry continues to plead to Congress for help, they say 71% of hotels will not be able to last another six months without immediate assistance and the entity reports that “every hour Congress doesn’t act, hotels lose 400 jobs, with up to 3 million permanent jobs lost.”

As the hotel industry continues to face record job loss amid the pandemic, advocates for the industry are once again calling on Congress for relief.

According to a American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) survey, 71% of hotels will not be able to last another six months without immediate assistance and the entity reports that “every hour Congress doesn’t act, hotels lose 400 jobs, with up to 3 million permanent jobs lost.”

The survey evaluated a number of hotel owners and operators, with a target of determining how slowed Christmas travel will impact the bottom lines.

The recent national survey, commissioned by the AHLA, shows that nearly two-thirds (69%) of Americans will not travel for Christmas. With a new surge in COVID-19 cases, the CDC has recommended that Americans do not travel over the holiday season, new stay-at-home orders are being put in place in states across the country, and it appears that the holiday season will compound the challenges already facing the hotel industry during this public health crisis.

“We understand the importance of following CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support the government’s actions. However, with the dramatic decline in travel, hotels will face a harsh winter through no fault of our own. The hotel industry needs aid to survive until travel demand returns. Given this current environment, Congress cannot nor should not contemplate recess until a relief bill is passed now,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA. “Millions of Americans are out of work, and thousands of small businesses are struggling to keep their doors open. We cannot afford to wait until the next Congress is sworn in for relief. We need help now.”

The survey of 2,200 adults was conducted November 2-4, 2020 by Morning Consult on behalf of AHLA. Key findings of the survey include the following:

  • 74% of those traveling overnight for Christmas report they will stay with a family or friend
  • Only 3 in 10 (32%) respondents have taken an overnight vacation or leisure trip since March
  • Looking ahead to next year, 24% are likely to travel for spring break
  • 44% say their next hotel stay for vacation or leisure travel will be a year or more from now or they have no plans to stay in a hotel
  • Business travel has been even more impacted as only 8% of Americans say they have taken an overnight business trip since March
  • Only 8% of all adults expect to travel for business within the next six months
  • 62% of employed Americans have no plans to stay in a hotel for business

Jessica Szilagyi is a Statewide Contributor for AllOnGeorgia.com. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta and has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers."

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