JACKSONVILLE, Florida, – Jacksonville hotels are expected to lose $ 151 million in business travel revenue in 2021, down 50.1% from the pre-pandemic year of 2019, according to a recent report by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Kalibri Labs. Florida hotels stand to lose more than $ 5.3 billion, while hotels nationwide are set to end 2021 down more than $ 59 billion in business travel revenue from 2019 after losing nearly $ 49 billion in 2020.
The new analysis follows a recent AHLA investigation, which found that most business travelers cancel, cut back and postpone their trips amid lingering concerns over COVID-19.
Extend a lifeline for hotel workers and provide the assistance needed to survive until travel returns to pre-pandemic levels. U.S. Representative Al Lawson, R-Tallahassee, co-sponsored the Save Hotel Jobs Act, a law currently before Congress that would devote 100% of its funding to keeping hotel employees on the payroll.
Business travel, which includes companies, groups, government, and other commercial categories, is the hospitality industry’s primary source of revenue and is not expected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2024. The lack of business travel and events has major repercussions on employment and underscores the need for targeted federal relief, such as the Save Hotel Jobs Act.
Hotels are expected to end 2021 down nearly 500,000 jobs from 2019, including more than 44,000 jobs lost in Florida. For every 10 people directly employed in a hotel property, hotels support an additional 26 jobs in the community, from restaurants and retail to hotel supply companies, meaning nearly 1.3 million more jobs funded by hotels are also threatened across the country, according to AHLA.
“We would like to thank Representative Lawson for supporting our workforce during one of the most difficult years on record,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA. “While many other hard-hit industries have received targeted federal relief, the hospitality industry has not.”
Despite being one of the hardest hit business categories, hotels are the only segment of the hospitality and leisure industry that still receives direct assistance. That’s why AHLA and UNITE HERE, the largest union of hotel workers in North America, joined forces to call on Congress to pass the bipartisan Save Hotel Jobs Act introduced by Senator Brian Schatz (D -Hawaii) and representative Charlie Crist (D- Florida).
Key provisions include:
Support hotel workers: Direct wage subsidies will be used for expenses related to payroll and employee benefits. The legislation would also require beneficiaries to grant redundant workers recall rights to ensure those who lost their jobs at the hotel due to the pandemic can return to work.
Allow tax credits tailored to workers: offers a personal protective equipment tax credit to promote worker safety measures, which would allow a payroll tax credit for 50% of associated costs the purchase of personal protective equipment, technology designed to reduce the impact of the pandemic, increased testing for employees and improved cleaning protocols that do not negatively impact the level of work of the housekeeping staff.
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