Voanoticias (Venezuela): Hotel closures cause about 25 thousand jobless in NY

February 18, 2021


85% of hotels, in New York, closed on March 22, 2020, the day after the announcement of the pause order, which included travel restrictions within the state. The New York Hotel Association highlights the challenges for this industry whose situation, it estimates, has caused at least 25,000 jobless rates and to date it sees few options for recovery. Laura Sepúlveda, correspondent for the Voice of America, spoke with the president of the Association.






There are more than 200 hotels which, for almost a year with measures to control the pandemic, have closed their doors to the public. These measures have hit the industry that, according to Vijay Dandapani, president of the Hotel Association in NY, continues to register very low numbers, despite the fact that competition has reduced.


((Vijay Dandapani, President of the Hotel Association in NY))


[00:22 – 00:39]


“The occupancy went from 89%, before that, to 14% and, since then, it has been in the range of 10 to 15%. You may have seen numbers in the 40% range, and there is a reason for that and that is that almost 200 hotels serve the homeless and other government businesses. “


((Laura Sepúlveda, Voice of America))


[00:39 – 01:08]


An option that several of the businesses have appealed to since commercial or tourist trips are practically inactive, and Dandapani assures that the longer it lasts, the less likely there is that the closed hotels will re-enter into operation. The closures have caused at least 25 thousand people to lose their jobs and although there is no exact figure of how many Hispanics are affected, it is estimated that it is a high percentage, because they are people who usually occupy key operating positions in these businesses, particularly of cleaning and cooking.


((Vijay Dandapani, President of the Hotel Association in NY))


[01:09 – 01:19]


“Before the pandemic we had 700 hotels in the city, of various sizes […] today only 250 are open to the public and another 200 serving, as I say, government business.”




Measures such as the mandatory 3-day quarantine and a negative PCR test result after arrival in New York continue to harm the industry, according to Dandapani, as he says that this limits the travel intention of many people. The proposal is a pre-arrival test requirement, which does not interfere with the travel itinerary, since they presume, that would motivate greater interstate activity and why not? International.


Laura Sepúlveda, Voice of America, New York.