With the hospitality industry slammed by the COVID-19 crisis, Hilton Worldwide Holdings said it planned to cut about 22 percent of its corporate workforce globally, around 2,100 jobs, a press release said.
President and CEO Christopher J. Nassetta said the decision had been a difficult one, but was need to “protect our business.” He said: “Never in Hilton’s 101-year history has our industry faced a global crisis that brings travel to a virtual standstill.”
The corporate employees affected will receive a severance package, outplacement support, access to online Hilton alumni resources, access to a new faster program to get hired once travel picks back up again after the pandemic and extended access to the Go Hilton Team Member travel program.
“Our company’s spirit has always been grounded in a culture that supports our team members and delivers hospitality for our guests,” added Nassetta. “We will keep that spirit alive, and when the world begins to travel again, we will be ready to welcome them back.”
Hotels and travel-related businesses have taken devastating hits due to the pandemic, which reduced the demand for travel and lodging outside the home to almost zero during March and April, while people stayed home to avoid spreading the virus.
Now, as the world moves to reopen, the hotel industry will have to face the new reality, as reported by PYMNTS. That means implementing new social distancing procedures, higher sanitation guidelines and more adjustments like temperature checks, per a set of guidelines put out recently by the U.S. Travel Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).
Hilton was part of a board of hotel corporations putting together new guidelines with the AHLA that included more contactless payment methods, more physical distancing in hotel and restaurant areas and in-room cleaning only upon request by a guest.