The American Hotel and Lodging Association's (AHLA) report on the state of the hotel industry in 2021 and going forward is, to say the least, not a pretty picture--especially here in Illinois.

To be sure, many companies and industries have been suffering throughout our dealings with the COVID-19 pandemic, but according to a report from AARP, the Leisure and Hospitality industries are right at the top of the misery index:

With restaurants, bars, and stadiums temporarily shut down or operating on limited capacity for most of the year, many workers at these businesses lost jobs. Still, the numbers nationwide are shocking. In December 2020, there were 1.3 million fewer workers in these fields were than there were one year earlier.

So, do you think things have gotten better for this group since the December numbers were announced? I don't think so, even with seeing more places reopening for business.

The AHLA report goes on to point out that even though the hotel industry is expected to add up to 200,000 jobs this year, they'll still be half a million people below the pre-pandemic employment levels they previously enjoyed. AHLA projects half of America's hotel rooms will remain empty throughout this year, and that business travel won't begin to pick up again until we move from this month into May.

As for our State of Illinois, the outlook is no better than the national outlook, and could actually be looked at as being worse. The Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association (IHLA) says that Illinois' hotel revenue is down as much as 80 percent, and that other states that have opened themselves up for business ahead of Illinois, are taking some of that money.

WGN-TV News:

“We’ve already lost business to states like Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, that have been opened up quicker,” Michael Jacobson, president & CEO of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, said on Capitol Connection. “Illinois is certainly lagging. And many states that have had these restrictions in place are definitely lagging compared to states that have reopened quicker.”



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