The Strategist

Marriott and others announce global layoffs

03/24/2020 - 05:15

The hotel chain Marriott International and others began to send tens of thousands of workers on forced leave to survive the crisis, writes The Wall Street Journal.

José Carlos Cortizo Pérez via flickr
José Carlos Cortizo Pérez via flickr
Marriott’s spokeswoman confirmed that approximately two-thirds of the 4,000 employees at Bethesda, Maryland, were offered to go on vacation at their own expense. In addition, approximately two-thirds of workers abroad were sent on vacation. The publication’s interlocutor could not name the total number of foreign employees of Marriott.

Marriott decided to start forcibly sending employees on vacation amid the closure of hotels around the world due to coronavirus.

Hotel Chain Operators Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Hyatt Hotels Corp. also said that many employees would be sent on vacation without pay.

The drop in global tourist flow due to the introduction of travel restrictions by governments to curb the spread of COVID-19 has delivered a huge blow to the hotel industry. Some companies are taking even more drastic measures than Marriott, WSJ notes.

Ashford Inc., which owns 130 hotels in the United States, dismisses or sends on unpaid leave 95% of the 7,000 employees, said the company’s CEO Monty Bennett. He admitted that a third of those dismissed will not return to the company.

Another hotel operator - Pebblebrook Hotel Trust - suggested that about 90-95% of 8,000 employees go on vacation, CEO John Bortz said. The company had to close about half of its 54 hotels.

Last week, US President Donald Trump held talks with representatives of the American tourism industry to find possible ways to overcome the crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. During the meeting, heads of the largest hotel chains requested a total of $ 250 billion in financial assistance.

According to William Rogers, head of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, coronavirus "had a more serious economic impact on the hotel industry than September 11 and the 2008 recession combined." According to industry forecasts, Americans’ travel expenses, including domestic and international flights, will be reduced by $ 355 billion due to the quarantine.