AHLA Releases 2019 Policy Priorities, Urges Congress, Administration To Work Together To End Shutdown

Focus includes investing in the industry's workforce, protecting guests and neighborhoods, and promoting travel

Hotel Industry Employees

WASHINGTON—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today released its 2019 policy priorities, Policy Solutions for Our Workforce, Communities, and Guests, which highlights the hotel industry’s advocacy agenda for the coming year.

As the sole association representing all segments of the lodging industry, AHLA says that it is committed to innovative solutions that support small business owners and keep the economy strong. Hotels support 8 million jobs both on-site and throughout the community, representing $355 billion in annual labor income and contributing nearly $600 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while generating $167 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. A typical hotel supports more than 250 jobs in the local community.

“Hotels are a major economic driver and a cornerstone of our communities, with a presence in every single Congressional district in the country. We are proud to support millions of jobs while providing lifelong careers and the opportunity to achieve the American dream,” said Brian Crawford, AHLA executive vice president of government affairs.

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AHLA’s 2019 policy priorities include addressing the industry’s workforce needs in an extremely tight labor market with historically low unemployment, protecting guests from online booking scams and neighborhoods from unregulated and illegal hotels, and promoting travel and tourism. With more than six in ten hotels classified as a small business, AHLA is especially focused on policies that empower entrepreneurs and encourage business growth.

Specifically, AHLA advocates for policy solutions that:

  • Help the industry meet the increasing demand for associates, including comprehensive immigration reform and expanding the H-2B and J-1 visa programs
  • Grow career and workforce development programs and ensure ongoing industry commitment to employee safety
  • Bring clarity back to the joint employer standard
  • Rein in illegal hotels through common-sense regulations, accountability, and taxes
  • Ensure consumers receive fair and transparent information when booking hotels online
    Increase the flow of international visitors to the United States while keeping a strong commitment to security

Crawford urged Congress and the Administration to re-open the federal government and move forward on important issues of the day.

“We welcome the new Congress to Washington and pledge to work with them to advance hoteliers’ policy priorities so that our industry and our communities continue to thrive. As a start, we urge Congress and the Administration to work together to re-open the federal government, help get employees back to work, and promote bipartisan solutions to grow and expand our economy,” said Crawford.

Click here to download the 2019 AHLA Policy Guide.