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As tourism returns, W Austin hotel hires back 50% of employees who were laid off due to the pandemic

The general manager of the W Austin said they are hiring staff members back and even hiring new positions.

AUSTIN, Texas — The hotel industry and local tourism took a significant hit in the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Austin hotels were forced to lay off thousands of employees in order to stay afloat.

The Austin area's recreational and hospitality sector cut 60,000 jobs in the first few weeks of the pandemic. And during the pandemic, the local tourist company Visit Austin estimated it lost $657 million, losing nearly 700,000 hotel nights. 

The general manager of the W Austin on Lavaca Street, who is also part of the Austin Hotel and Lodging Association, said the W has come a long way since this time last year. She said that they were fully booked for Memorial Day weekend to start the summer season off.

"Due to an epic loss in revenue last year, we did have to lay off and furlough a significant amount of people and we're very proud to report that we have been able to bring back about 50% of that and still hiring, which is great," Joanna McCreary said.

The W also offers day passes for people to enjoy hotel amenities Sunday through Friday. 

"Not only do we have the business back but we have folks back working, making gratuity and entertaining our guests, which is what they really love to do the most," McCreary said.

Click here if you're interested in seeing available tourism jobs in Austin. 

WATCH: Signs of a strong comeback for Texas travel, tourism

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