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By Alex Martin | March 25 2020
US hotels have committed to helping the government’s Covid-19 response by providing vital accommodation for first responders.
The new program aims to make use of the thousands of properties that are now empty due to the complete collapse in the travel industry. The AHLA has identified over 6,500 properties nationwide located in close proximity to established healthcare facilities that are at the ready to assist the government’s efforts to beat the novel coronavirus Covid-19.
Hotels for Hope will work directly with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with the US Army CORPS of Engineers and local emergency management and public health agencies to provide access to hotel properties to support the health community and our nation’s first responders who may be in need of temporary housing during this crucial time.
Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO, said: “As an industry of people taking care of people, the hotel industry is uniquely positioned to support and help strengthen our communities and first responders who are on the frontlines of dealing with this ongoing public health crisis.
“Hotels have always been an active member of our local communities, and this time is no different. AHLA, in partnership with our partner state associations, are proud to work on behalf of our member companies to facilitate partnerships with federal, state and local governments to support the health community during this critical time.”
AHLA is rapidly producing a Hotels for Hope database to help match and streamline the process for willing properties to connect with federal, state, and local government. The finished product will allow government officials to search for properties based on geographical location.
US hotels have experienced a near-total wipeout in their business due to the global pandemic. Reservations for the Easter period are essentially down 100% with only key workers continuing to travel in this unprecedented period of disruption. The willingness to provide vital accommodation is a sign of hope in dark times, and the number of hotels joining the program is growing all of the time.
Michael Jacobson, CEO of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association said. “Our hotels are answering the call to action, and they want to be helpful to the city and the state.”
Hotels interested in joining AHLA’s “Hotels for Hope” initiative can volunteer here.