WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, August 14, the General Services Administration (GSA) released fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) per diem rates for government travel in the Continental United States (CONUS). At $151 ($96 for lodging and $55 for meals), the standard CONUS rate is unchanged from FY 2020 rates, which were set pre-COVID-19. The number of Non-Standard Areas (NSAs) that have per diem rates higher than the standard rate is 319 for FY 2021 compared to 322 in FY 2020.
In a statement released on Friday, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) President and CEO Chip Rogers applauded the GSA for “recognizing the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on government travel and hotel occupancy while establishing FY 2021 per diem rates.”
“Government travel is incredibly important to the hotel industry,” Rogers continued. “Traditionally, it supports tens of thousands of jobs, and billions in travel spending that benefits communities across the country. Government per diem rates are also often used as a guide by other businesses and organizations in setting their travel standards. That’s why it’s so important that we establish fair and reasonable rates, especially at a time when our industry is fighting for survival.”
Rogers noted that 2020 is projected to be the worst year on record for hotel occupancy. U.S. hotel demand and room revenue are unlikely to make a full recovery until 2023 and 2024, respectively, according to the downgraded STR and Tourism Economics forecast released last week.
“We appreciate the GSA’s work to ensure fair and reasonable per diem rates for FY2021, and we look forward to welcoming back our government guests as travel resumes,” Rogers added.