TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida hotels and businesses that support the hotel industry have cut nearly 400,000 jobs amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to data released Thursday by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

The layoffs have come as officials and industry executives close or limit access to hotels, theme parks, beaches, bars and restaurants to contain the fast-spreading virus, also known as COVID-19.

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Florida’s tourism industry is vital to the state’s economy, producing billions of dollars in state and local taxes each year.

The hotel industry employs roughly 950,000 people in the state, according to the association.

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The association said in a statement Thursday that it expects 44 percent of hotel employees in every state will lose their jobs “in the coming weeks.”

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