OTTAWA -- The Hotel Association of Canada is warning that the industry is going to be devastated as travel comes to a halt in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The association says the hotel industry business has crashed over the past 10 days.

It says the national occupancy average is below 10 per cent and hotels are closing across the country.

Hotel owners need access to liquidity and flexibility from financial institutions in order to stay afloat, the association says.

The warning comes as Canada closes its borders in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Ottawa has closed the borders to most travellers from around the world, while those coming from the U.S. will be restricted to essential visitors only.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2020.