press release


Washington, D.C., December 2, 2009 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) sent a letter to President Barack Obama detailing a number of areas of focus where this week’s White House jobs summit can help build employment opportunities in the U.S. lodging and travel industry.

“The current economic downturn has impacted the U.S. hospitality industry particularly hard. As an industry which employs tens of thousands of Americans, we strongly support initiatives that will result in our ability to increase employment even more in our sector of the economy,” wrote Joseph A. McInerney, AH&LA President and CEO, and Marlene Colucci, AH&LA Executive Vice President of Public Policy.

The letter focused on three areas that promise to quickly deliver more jobs to the $140 billion U.S. lodging industry.   

Reinstatement of the business travel tax deduction for spouses.  By allowing for the deduction of a spouse’s travel expenses who accompanies an individual on business travel, a significant impediment on increased travel and tourism will be removed.

Restoration of the 80% tax deduction for business meals.  The business meal is the only means of marketing and advertising for many small businesses and self-employed individuals.  Making this deduction higher is a legitimate business promotion activity.

Passage of the Travel Promotion Act (S. 1023).  This legislation would establish a public-private information campaign attracting 1.6 million new international visitors, creating $4 billion in new spending, and sending $321 million to the U.S. Treasury as revenue.  President Obama should pull out all the stops and urge the Senate to approve this bill before the start of 2010.

The December 1 letter can be found in its entirety at

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Serving the hospitality industry for a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.  For more about AH&LA and our 100th anniversary, visit