Around 80% of US hotel rooms are empty due to coronavirus

Hotels around the world are feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic — about 80 percent of hotel rooms in the United States are empty.

Compared to last year’s week of March 31 to April 6, hotel occupancy dropped by almost 70 percent, with just 21.6 percent of rooms full.

Oahu, Hawaii, reported the highest fall in occupancy among the top 25 markets in the U.S., down nearly 91% with 7% occupancy. The occupancy of New York City fell to about 18% by more than 79%, while Seattle fell to 19.5% by about 73%.

Despite the current coronavirus pandemic, half of the U.S. hotels could close, according to Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Stimulus package for Hotels and Travel companies

President Donald Trump’s $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed into law last month seeks to get the economy back on its feet as it struggles with the shutdowns due to coronavirus. Hotels and other travel companies would have to bid for the package via loans from a $500 billion fund.

Although the American Hotel & Lodging Association endorsed the bill, it warned it had a clause restricting a loan from the Small Business Administration to 250% of the average monthly payroll of a hotel.

Since then, AHLA has supported plans by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to provide an additional $250 billion in loans to small businesses.

Whether the stimulus is enough to get travel companies back to the sense of where they stood before the crisis has yet to be seen. The stimulus has a lot of money to lend, but travelers may still be reluctant to book vacations.

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