Skål International USA announces program to help hospitality workers

Donations support workers impacted by COVID-19.

Anthony Melchiorri, hospitality expert, and creator, co-executive producer, and host of the Travel Channel's hotel turnaround shows Hotel Impossible ('Hotel Impossible: Five Star Secrets' and 'Hotel Impossible: Showdown'), has teamed up with Skål International USASkål International New York and Skål International Long Island clubs to support the hospitality workforce due to the horrific and unprecedented negative effects of COVID-19 on the travel industry throughout the United States.

The majority of hotels are run by small businesses and we need to ensure they stay open. Helping their employees until they are back to work must be a priority. We help our own and this new program will help these dedicated individuals survive, so please donate,” said Melchiorri.

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The ‘USA Hospitality Strong Relief Fundraiser’ project launched nationally on April 11 on Anthony Melchiorri’s Podcast, ‘Checking in with Anthony & Glenn’, and through Skål International USA, a professional travel and Tourism global organization with 45 clubs and 1,800 members located throughout the United States. 

According to the United States Travel Association (USTA), travel supports 15.8 million American jobs in total (or one out of every 10 Americans are employed in the travel industry). According to recent federal unemployment claims, declines in travel have caused ten million jobs to be lost out of approximately 30 million for the entire U.S. economy, according to this new report released by the USTA. Travel spending losses are on track to top half a trillion dollars by the end of 2020. Many of these affected are Skål International members. According to Wayne V. Lee, Jr., President of Skål International New York and Co-organizer of this initiative says, “100% of funds raised will be directed to hospitality workers throughout the United States affected by COVID-19. Our travel industry is especially important to our economy with many talented individuals, who need our help now.”

All of the funds raised by this GoFundMe drive will be distributed to hospitality workers that have served our communities and have been essential to the travel industry,  whether working in hotels, restaurants, catering facilities, attractions or one of many other hospitality related organizations that are a bedrock of the Tourism economy.

David Ryan, President of Skål International USA, explains, “with over ten million industry workers losing their jobs, it is critical we reach out to these distressed workers and get them some help. Our membership is employed in the travel and Tourism industry which has been devastated. According to a recent Skål International USA survey, over 30% of our membership have either lost their jobs or taken a pay cut since the Coronavirus outbreak.”

It’s important to note that the hospitality industry is the #1 employer in the USA second only to government held positions” said Ryan.

In my area (New York), these hard-working and passionate 120,000+ hospitality professionals, that comprise approximately 10% of the Long Island workforce, were amongst the first to be adversely impacted by the Coronavirus crisis.  They need your help, as well as many others throughout the United States, to provide for themselves and their families” says Mark Irgang, President of Skål International Long Island and Co-organizer.

Donations can be directed to the USA #HospitalityStrong Relief Fund Campaign Page.

Contact us for more information and any eligible hospitality workers who have lost their job and need assistance:

Skål International USA is the largest National Committee in Skål International with 1,800 members and 45 clubs nationwide. Skål International New York, who recently celebrated its 80th Anniversary, was the first club in the United States founded in 1938. Skål International Long Island was founded in 1983. Skål International, founded in 1934, is a professional organization of Tourism leaders around the world in 102 countries, with 14,000 members, promoting global Tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and Tourism industry.