Opening a new hotel in a global pandemic : The Indicator from Planet Money The U.S. is down around 3.5 million hospitality jobs since the pandemic took hold. But in spite of setbacks, hotels continue to open.

Opening A Hotel During A Pandemic

Opening A Hotel During A Pandemic

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Alina Selyukh/NPR
Mike Patel on the left, Navnit Patel on the right.
Alina Selyukh/NPR

The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating to nearly every sector of the economy, but few industries have felt the impact more acutely than leisure and hospitality.

In April, when travel restrictions went into effect and large events were cancelled, the industry lost about 8.4 million jobs, bringing it down to 1987 levels of employment.

Now, leisure and hospitality is still down around 3.5 million jobs, and while federal stimulus helped companies stay afloat early on in the pandemic, a recent survey showed that 71% of hoteliers say they won't survive another six months without more relief.

And yet, new hotels continue to open.

NPR Business Correspondent Alina Selyukh joins the show to talk about the economics of opening a hotel and why this decision is not a matter of wanting to do it, but pretty much having to do it.

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