A new survey released June 24 by the American Hotel & Lodging Association found that just 18 percent of respondents had taken an overnight trip since March, a good indicator of how the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the hospitality industry.
The survey of 2,200 adults, conducted by Morning Consult from June 16 through 19, also asked respondents whether they planned to take at least one vacation or overnight trip not related to business during the rest of 2020. The results? Not many Americans are planning pleasure trips this year.
The survey found that Just 10 percent of respondents said they’d take an overnight trip within the next month and just 16 percent said they would do the same later this summer.
An additional 7 percent said they planned to take an overnight trip in the fall and 11 percent said they would travel by the end of the year. A total of 36 percent said they didn’t plan on taking any vacations in 2020.
In positive news for the lodging industry, 70 percent of respondents said they supported the passage of an additional economic stimulus for those industries most affeced by the pandemic, including the travel and hospitality sectors.
Also, 61 percent of respondents said they would support a temporary federal tax credit designed to encourage people to travel. Just 21 percent of respondents said they would oppose such a measure.
“As communities reopen, we are encouraged to see people begin to travel and some hotel jobs return, but make no mistake, most hotels are still trying to survive,” said Chip Rogers, president and chief executive officer of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “We need Congress to continue to prioritize the industries and employees most affected by the crisis, so we can retain and rehire the people who power our industry, our communities and our economy.”
Before the pandemic swept through the country, hotels supported one in 25 U.S. jobs, a total of 8.3 million, according to the lodging association. The industry contributed $40 billion in direct state and local tax revenue in 2018.
Because of the drop in travel related to COVID-19, though, eight in 10 hotels had to lay off or furlough workers, according to the association. State and local tax revenues from hotel operations are expected to drop by $16.8 billion in 2020, according to a new report conducted by Oxford Economics and released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
“The hotel industry was the first impacted by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover,” Rogers said. “We are a major economic driver, supporting millions of jobs and generating billions in tax revenue. Getting our economy back on track starts with supporting the hotel industry and helping them regain their footing.”