WASHINGTON—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today expressed support for H.R. 6995, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL) and Charlie Crist (D-FL) to preserve federal per diem-reimbursements rates from being set below a certain level. General Services Administration (GSA) rates will be adversely impacted through 2022 and beyond due to the severe drop in hotel room rates and occupancy resulting from the COVID-19 crisis which brought travel to a virtual halt. The following statement is attributable to Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA:
“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. 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.
AHLA applauds Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL) and Charlie Crist (D-FL) for the introduction of H.R. 6995, which is critical to ensuring that rates reflect the current economic conditions while supporting government travel, an important driver of hotel business. 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. 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.”