Louisiana hotel industry suffering from COVID-19 outbreak

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB)- The hotel industry in Louisiana is one being hit particularly hard right now because of COVID-19. The drastic decline in hotel occupancy rates is causing jobs in the hotel industry to be rapidly cut.

Hotel Bentley in downtown Alexandria | Credit: KALB

A study by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) estimates that as of March 23, Louisiana has already lost more than 49,000 direct or indirect hotel jobs. The AHLA projects that 44 percent of hotel employees in every state will lose their jobs in the coming weeks.

Hotels are considered an essential business under Governor Edwards' proclamation, so they are allowed to stay open. Locally, the Hotel Bentley tells us they've had to postpone several conferences but they still have guests for now.

“Our hotel staff is just working tirelessly to sanitize and continuously disinfect as much as we possibly can," said Manager Scott Laliberte. "Fortunately, we still have guests in the building and the hotel is still open. Nothing has been mandated for closures for hotels. It may come in the future but we're being aggressive about our housekeeping tasks and protocols here at the hotel."

The hotel industry in Louisiana employs more than 120,000 people either directly or indirectly. Indirect hotel jobs include things like the people who work for the hotels' supply chains.

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