Hard-hit hotels remain below 50{143106009d8b87d45252e1fd973f0c0835ad3aabba3679e828c3cd83539ae06c} staffing levels nationwide, and are lobbying for COVID relief.

The tourism industry contributes $980.7 million in spending a year to the Lake County economy, generates an additional $695.6 million in annual economic impact, and supports 14,411 jobs, according to a recent study by Rockport Analytics. About 60 hotels operates in Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties, offering 4,000 rooms in Lake County alone.

Nationwide, the leisure and hospitality sector has lost more jobs than construction, manufacturing, retail, education and health services combined during the pandemic. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates it has lost 4.8 million jobs since February, making it “the worst economic impact the industry has ever faced.”

“Our industry was among the first impacted by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover. We are a major economic driver, supporting millions of jobs and generating billions in tax revenue. Getting our economy back on track starts with supporting the hotel industry and tourism in general,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “We need Congress to continue to prioritize the industries and employees most affected by the crisis, so that help is directed to the businesses that need it most.”

The hotels seek financial relief, such as employee retention tax credits, temporary travel tax credits, and full deductibility of the food and entertainment business expense.

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