Nearly 200,000 travel-related jobs were lost in 2008. Another 247,000 are forecasted for 2009. And, the financial crisis is still developing. While we lament the loss of six- and seven-figure investment banking jobs, let’s not forget what those big money gigs mean for the travel industry.
Consider your average Wall Street titan. He’s still pulling down more than $1 million a year (somehow). So, he’s sitting on the couch in his rather large Chelsea apartment, wondering, “Do I need to take that golf trip down to Naples for the weekend?” For him, it’s throwaway. If he doesn’t head out for a few days, his life doesn’t change much.
Now, multiply this by several Wall Street titans for that weekend. Most of them decide to stay at home. Who suffers?
Well, an empty restaurant is a waiter’s nightmare. It’s also rough for the spa therapists, housekeepers and everyone else along the “travel supply chain.” Eventually, the companies have to cut back, and we see how that 247,000 projection becomes a reality.
For this reason, 10 of the largest hotel companies in the United States have urged members of Congress to remember the importance of business travel when developing legislation and regulations that may “unintentionally hinder economic recovery and cost American jobs.”
The hotel companies are: Carlson, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Loews, Marriott, Starwood and Wyndham Worldwide.