WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today released the results of a survey of mayors across the nation that shows the valuable partnerships hotels and the travel sector have with cities from coast to coast, serving as critical components to local economics, career opportunities, community development, tax revenue, and growth.
The survey reveals mayors’ perspectives on the tourism, hotel and lodging industry in their respective cities and resulted in responses from more than 100 mayors between July and December 2016. Attached is the survey’s Executive Summary.
Hotel and lodging businesses are mainstays of their communities, and an important source of quality jobs. Seventy percent of mayors surveyed said hotel jobs provide the most opportunity, good benefits and wages within the tourism industry. They also noted that hotels support their communities through increased tax revenue, capital investment, tourism-related development and promotion, civic leadership, and charitable contributions and sponsorship. And the majority agreed that hotels benefit the communities in which they operate, with nine out of 10 saying they believe their community would benefit from additional hotels, inns or bed and breakfasts. One-fifth of all mayors surveyed say tourism and hospitality is the largest sector of their economy—second only to healthcare as a top industry.
“The hotel and lodging industry is very important to the economic vitality of our cities,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO and executive director. “This was especially brought to our attention following 9-11, and the economic fall out of tourism and travel to our cities. The hotel and lodging industry is an important piece of our nation’s metro economies’ engine which drives our nation’s economic growth.”
“Hotels are an integral part of the fabric of each community across the United States,” said AHLA president and CEO Katherine Lugar. “From coast to coast, the industry proudly invests in the communities in which they call home by creating jobs, supporting long-term career opportunities, generating significant tax revenue, contributing to the local and state economies, and encouraging community development. From global brands to the small inns and bed and breakfasts that line Main Streets across the country, we look forward to strengthening our partnerships with mayors and other elected officials to ensure continued growth in the months and years to come.”
Importantly, mayors responding to the survey noted how hotels help to attract new tourists to their communities by investing in visitor outreach and destination awareness campaigns. Sixty-eight percent of the mayors surveyed say hotels and lodging are the largest contributors to their city’s destination marketing fund. These efforts create new investments and foster repeat business. As the first faces people encounter upon arriving, hotels and their employees are essential to showing visitors that their city is the type of community they’d like to stay in to build or conduct their own business.