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Published on : Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association will join forces on May 17-18 with more than 500 hoteliers from across the country for a joint hospitality day on Capitol Hill. During the associations’ two-day Legislative Action Summit (LAS), hoteliers will come together to raise awareness with Congressional leaders about the strength of the lodging industry and its meaningful impact on communities around the country.
This is the second year AH&LA and AAHOA have partnered to showcase the lodging industry’s unity and strength. Employing nearly 2 million Americans and contributing nearly $1.4 trillion in travel and tourism revenue, hoteliers will advocate for policies that encourage business growth and entrepreneurial opportunities while urging more transparency on the rise of commercial activity fostered by short-term rental platforms and protecting consumers from online hotel booking scams. AH&LA and AAHOA representatives will share their stories and hotel experiences with members of Congress and their staff, encouraging them to take action on some of the issues that matter most to the lodging sector.
LAS participants will also hear from key leaders in Washington who will offer their insights on the political climate and congressional landscape, including remarks by U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), U.S. House of Representatives Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and political analysist Charlie Cook.
“The power of our industry lies in the opportunities hotels create for men and women seeking jobs that pay competitive wages, offer good benefits, and provide a path toward upward mobility to long-term, successful careers. Hotels are interwoven into the fabric of each community across the country, and telling those stories of promoting our employees, creating jobs, building partnerships with local leaders, and answering our guests’ needs to Members of Congress define who we are as an industry,” said AH&LA president and CEO Katherine Lugar. “As a guest-centric industry that focuses on opportunities and experiences, we are proudly an industry of people, from our guests to our workers.
“Our annual Legislative Action Summit always promises dynamic opportunities for hoteliers to explain first-hand how Congress’ decisions impact their business and team members. From urging lawmakers to request the Federal Trade Commission to study the rise of commercial operators on short-term rental platforms to protecting consumers from online hotel booking scams and stopping drive-by lawsuits that abuse the Americans with Disabilities Act to pushing back against onerous and harmful labor regulations, Congress has an important role to play in creating the environment to allow our industry to continue growing and creating jobs.”
Chip Rogers, AAHOA President and CEO, commented, “We are thrilled to bring the lodging industry together again to present a unified voice to Congress this week. The one thing that lawmakers will remember from our visits is that the lodging industry means jobs for millions of Americans—jobs that have tremendous career potential—but outdated laws and ill-advised regulations are holding the industry back. Fortunately, Congress has simple, common-sense bills before them to fix these issues. Our goal this week is to share our stories of success and challenges, and urge action on these proposals.”
The lodging industry continues to focus on growth and the nation’s economic resurgence while improving the employment landscape. Each day, nearly 5 million people check into a hotel, raising $141.5 billion in business travel tax revenue annually. Further, the hotel industry empowers its employees to advance quickly through the ranks to higher management positions. Indeed, more than 50% of general managers in the lodging industry began in entry-level jobs.