Industry NewsAH&LA Presents Unified, Powerful Voice

AH&LA Presents Unified, Powerful Voice

Led by hoteliers, our industry has carved a path that has resulted in year-after-year of record growth, job creation, and vigorous development in the lodging sector. Now, we at the American Hotel & Lodging Association are forging ahead to showcase those achievements and advance an ambitious and dynamic advocacy agenda that highlights the continued economic contributions hoteliers make in their communities each and every day. Through sharpened focus, targeted partnerships, and strengthened congressional support, we are a unified and powerful voice ready to face challenges and seize opportunities to benefit our guests and our employees.

AH&LA will continue to build on our recent achievements, focusing on critical advocacy initiatives that will keep us strong. But we will only reach new heights with your continued support, commitment, and, most importantly, your engagement. That is why we encourage you to join us this year at AH&LA and AAHOA’s Legislative Action Summit (LAS) on May 17 and 18 in Washington, D.C. Telling your personal story is critical. Members of Congress want to hear from you, the business owners, operators, and team members in their districts. And sharing your experiences about promoting the next generation of leaders through fast-track advancements and long-term career opportunities will define who we are as an industry to our elected officials and showcase the value of lodging businesses in towns, cities, and states across the country.

While the industry continues to grow, hoteliers still face significant challenges in running their businesses, which is why it is so important that you speak up to your Congressional leaders.

Now is the time to encourage members of Congress to co-sponsor important bipartisan legislation, The Stop Online Booking Scams Act, to protect consumers from misleading and deceptive practices that hurt consumers who book hotels on fraudulent sites that harm our future guests and erode our reputations.
Now is the time to push back against overly burdensome labor regulations by securing key Congressional support; for example, putting a spotlight on the potential negative consequences from recent National Labor Relations Board decisions that could severely impact franchisees and franchisors as well as contractual relationships. We are an industry that provides good, above minimum wage jobs, and advances outstanding careers that support job growth and the economic well-being in the communities we serve around the country. Members of Congress need to hear you tell that story of success so that they don’t hobble your businesses.

And now is the time to urge lawmakers to stop the rise of “illegal hotels,” individuals or entities operating full-time or multi-unit short-term rentals and benefiting from an unregulated marketplace, all at the expense of guest safety and the security of the surrounding community. This is not about the occasional room rental that provides a little extra cash to individuals, as that has been going on for decades. Instead, today there exists a troubling trend of increased, unregulated commercial activity being facilitated by short-term online rental platforms like Airbnb. Along with many other concerned stakeholders from neighborhood groups, affordable housing advocates, organized labor, and tenant associations, it is important for all of us to educate public officials on this threat facing communities across the country.

With one unified and powerful voice, we are defining our industry. To echo AH&LA’s President and CEO, Katherine Lugar, “We have this tremendous story to tell; a story of our people, of upward mobility and growth, of creating jobs in communities…But if you don’t come to LAS, they will never know that story.”

About the Author
Vanessa Sinders is senior vice president and department head of government affairs for the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

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