WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) expressed support for H.R. 6995, bipartisan legislation introduced by Florida Representatives Bill Posey and Charlie Crist to preserve federal per diem-reimbursements rates from being set below a certain level. Due to the severe drop in hotel room rates and occupancy resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, General Services Administration (GSA) rates are expected to be adversely impacted through 2022 and beyond.
Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said that government travel is an important driver of the hotel business. “Government travel is incredibly important to the hotel industry, traditionally supporting tens of thousands of jobs and billions in travel spending that benefits communities around the country,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “The reality is, due to the devastating impact of COVID-19, 2020 is projected to be the worst year on record for hotel occupancy. Industry experts estimate it will be early 2023 before hotels return to their previous occupancy, rate, and revenue levels.”
Rogers added that H.R. 6995 is critical to ensuring that rates reflect the current economic conditions. “AHLA has always supported per diem policies that reflect market realities and allow hotels to be fairly compensated for the services they provide, while recognizing the need for the government to get the best value it can for taxpayers,” Rogers said. “Since the government per diem rates are often used as a guide by other organizations in setting their travel standards, it is imperative that we ensure fair and reasonable rates are established, especially at a time when our industry is engaged in a fight for survival.”