As the recognized COVID-19 infection rate began to gain strength in the U.S. in mid-March, lodging industry analysts said they expected at least half of the nation’s 4 million hotel employees would be laid off.
It’s a startling number when you consider that six weeks ago, most hospitality jobs were firmly intact.
In fact, in the beginning of 2020, the hospitality industry was grappling with a problem indicative of a healthy economy – a shallow labor pool. Competition from employers in and outside the industry forced hotel owners and operators to increase wages and figure out ways to retain staff, especially hourly workers.
What a difference a health pandemic can make.
April’s unemployment figures are expected to be unnerving. Twenty-two million people filed jobless claims from mid-March to mid-April.
Meantime, the Trump administration and some states are hatching plans to re-open communities and businesses beginning next month. In those cases, hoteliers will face some unique challenges in bringing back furloughed workers who are either comfortable on unemployment, uncomfortable with public-facing jobs or have found work elsewhere.
In this episode of Lodging Leaders, we talk to people involved in recruiting and training hospitality employees to find out what they’re seeing as the coronavirus pandemic has forced hotels to reduce their workforces.
Resources and Links
Global business travel is a $1.4 trillion industry. The Global Business Travel Association calculates the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 resulted in a loss of $113 billion in business travel spend in hotels, airlines and other sectors of the travel industry. But all is not lost. GBTA, industry analysts and travel management companies see some green shoots of hope for 2021 as the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out and corporations put some of their people on the road again. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
Long Live Lodging, an online multimedia news organization that covers the hospitality industry, found itself tossing aside its plans for news coverage late in the first quarter of 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. and devastated the hospitality industry. The year turned out to be ground-breaking for Long Live Lodging, which developed the industry’s first live digital conference, and its podcast, Lodging Leaders, which increased its followers through timely, credible and balanced reporting on trends and issues driving the industry during the historic year. The company also won international recognition for its coverage of the COVID-19 crisis and its work as a whole. Long Live Lodging is a startup media company, formed in 2019, with Lodging Leaders, which was founded in 2015. In today’s report, we celebrate the podcast’s 300th episode. Podcast founder and co-host Jon Albano and co-host Judy Maxwell have a free-wheeling conversation in which they review the top podcasts of 2020 (Can anyone say ‘fair franchising’?) and give a brief preview of what the media organization plans for 2021.