Many hotels have again reduced staff, after rehiring to meet a late-leisure-season demand bump, as corporate travel expectations continue to be low.
REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Leisure travel season is over, and so is the recent hiring trend in the hotel industry, with nearly 160,000 hotel jobs eliminated just since mid-August, labor management data from Hotel Effectiveness shows.
Amid ongoing concerns about health and safety related to COVID-19, corporate travel growth is slow, leading to reduced demand in a month that is normally the start of conference season in North America. At the same time, improvement in the number of hotels operating at breakeven occupancy levels or higher has stalled, suggesting a protracted recovery cycle.
“We saw the expected spike in occupancy over the Labor Day holiday weekend, but starting Sunday, the two-week downward trend in breakeven hotels continued,” said Taylor Beauchamp, chief product officer for Hotel Effectiveness. “Hotels are much better off than in April, but trends suggest that further improvement will be on hold for the next several months.”
Hotel restaurants added additional team members to address holiday demand this past weekend, providing one bright spot in the labor picture. Banquet staffing also showed a small uptick, but this is expected to be temporary.
The data and charts above represent a sample of more than 3,300 same-store hotels and excludes hotels that have been closed during the analyzed period.
Del Ross is Chief Revenue Officer for Hotel Effectiveness.
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