New Orleans tourism, hospitality industries suffer under new coronavirus rules

Businesses worry how to make ends meet with COVID-19 restrictions

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Hospitality workers say they do not know how they are going to make ends meet as the city’s convention industry grinds to a virtual halt.

The coronavirus pandemic and a new order from the Centers for Disease Control comes during what should be one of the busiest seasons for the city.

Bellman Adam Davenport stood by the front door of the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans and waited for customers.

”It’s going to be tough, definitely tough,” he said.

Coronavirus concerns have severely limited travel. Some Estimate that business is down at some hotels by 80%.

One couple from England got in last week. They are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and a weekend they hope to never forget.

“Love you New Orleans, lovely people will come back when it’s all recovered,” they said.

Coronavirus concerns had already hurt tourism due to the recent mandate by the CDC.

“This situation is fluid, we’ve had a number of events canceled,” said Tim Hemphill with the Morial Convention Center.

This week, an electrical engineering convention and a sleep products convention canceled, and officials are trying to get them and nearly a dozen others to reschedule for mid-summer.

As hospitality workers try and figure out what’s next, they try and keep themselves safe maintaining social distance and using sanitizer.

Meantime, convention center officials said they are trying to keep employees on the job for as long as they can.

Tourism industry officials say they are working with members of Congress on some sort of relief package for hospitality workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

What form the relief takes remains to be seen. Some are talking about income tax relief for workers affected by shutdowns.

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