Home COVID-19 Difficult News Makes Government Relief Essential—and Needed Fast

Difficult News Makes Government Relief Essential—and Needed Fast

Glenn Hasek

Different recessions have different reasons for happening but there is one thing they all have in common: the need for government stimulus and bailout if necessary, to preserve industries and jobs. The numbers we have all been seeing in recent months and especially recent weeks have been just plain scary and I strongly encourage you to support the efforts of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and other travel organizations in their efforts to get our government to come together on some type of aid for travel. Please write to your congressional representatives to ask for it. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue.

Some facts to consider from the last two weeks:

Disney announced it is laying off 28,000 people in the United States. United Airlines and American Airlines were to begin furloughing 13,000 and 19,000 people respectively this past week. Each one of those layoffs has a trickle down impact on the economy.

The CEOs of 17 of the largest U.S. travel companies joined the U.S. Travel Assn. in a statement pleading with leaders in Washington to advance a subsequent round of legislative relief from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the statement: “We represent an industry that accounts for nearly 40 percent of all the U.S. jobs that have been lost to the coronavirus pandemic—an absolutely staggering figure. With travel spending in the U.S. projected to drop more than half a trillion dollars this year, travel employers—83 percent of which are classified as small businesses, including large numbers of our own franchisees—are struggling to keep their doors open.”

As I was writing this I received the following: “COVID RELIEF NOW, a new coalition of nearly 225 major public and private sector groups across the U.S., today called for “No Recess without Relief” imploring Congress to not leave town for the 2020 elections without passing additional COVID economic relief—stating millions of jobs and survival of small businesses as well as vital government services are on the line.”

A recent survey of AHLA members showed that the hotel industry remains on the brink of collapse because of the pandemic. Results show 68 percent of hotels have less than half of their typical, pre-crisis staff working full time, and without further governmental assistance, 74 percent of respondents said they would be forced to lay off additional employees.

Finding a Way to Manage

With all of that said, the travel industry is crawling back and figuring out ways to utilize improved testing, technology and operational procedures to make travel—and yes, even meetings—possible again, even without a ready vaccine. Pay attention to news developments and your competitors closely in the weeks and months ahead.

At the end of the day, we all still must practice social distancing, masking, sanitizing, etc. Otherwise, there will be no end to this madness. A report this past week showed the virus still rising in 28 of 50 U.S. states—even after all these months!

A Question from a Reader

We are all implementing new protocols to ensure all surfaces and devices are sanitized. Do you know how we can test if the job has been done correctly? I’ve seen lamps to check for bacteria or other materials, but don’t know if that works or where to get them. Which will be the most practical way to do random tests at our hotel rooms without expending thousands of dollars? Send your thoughts to greenlodgingnews@gmail.com and I will share them with our reader.

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