. Events DC Pledges $18 Million to Help Hospitality and Tourism Recover from COVID-19 | Northstar Meetings Group

Events DC Pledges $18 Million to Help Hospitality and Tourism Recover from COVID-19

The relief package includes funds for local restaurants, hotels, undocumented workers and destination marketing.

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Events DC, the official convention and sports authority representing Washington D.C., approved an $18 million relief package to help the local tourism and hospitality industry, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Events DC, tourism and hospitality employs more than 80,000 people in Washington, D.C., making it the city's second-largest industry. Hotel closures and restrictions on restaurants, however, have led to massive layoffs and furloughs in the area. Research from the American Hotel and Lodging Association shows D.C. has already lost more than 18,000 hotel-supported jobs due to COVID-19.

The relief package includes $5 million for restaurant workers and operators, $5 million for hotel workers and operators, $5 million for undocumented workers and $3 million for destination marketing efforts that will help bring visitors back to D.C.

"As this unprecedented global health crisis is severely affecting all of us -- our city, our hospitality industry and our residents, it is our duty to act responsibly and do what we can to support our industry," said Greg O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC, in a statement. "The goal of this $18 million relief fund is not only to help our local hospitality and tourism industry now, but also help fuel Washington, D.C.’s recovery. I am grateful for the resiliency of our industry and everyone’s willingness to support each other and stand in solidarity during these difficult times."