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Hotels across Louisiana are feeling the crunch of the coronavirus crisis

The Louisiana hotel industry has lost 16,631 direct jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to figures released Friday by the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

The industry has lost 49,138 total jobs supporting hotels, the AHLA said. Forty-four percent of hotel employees in every state have lost or are projected to lose their jobs in the coming weeks.

William Langkopp, executive vice president of the Louisiana Hotel & Lodging Association, said the outbreak of the disease and the mandatory shutdowns aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus are devastating the hotel business.

“Layoffs. furloughs and reduced hours are occurring all over the place,” he said. “I have a local operator (in New Orleans) who has five small properties in downtown who is closing four of them.”

Ed Ghanami, president of Shreveport-based Panache Management, said bookings at his company's hotels have dropped more than half.

"Even with drastic cost-cutting measures implemented at each hotel, it will be impossible for our hotels to cover the cost of operations and cover debt service," he said. "As a result of drastic drop in hotel revenues, our management company cannot generate its much needed revenue to survive.”

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