Government travel is integral to the hotel industry, supporting tens of thousands of jobs and billions in travel spending that benefits communities across the country. A per diem rate is the daily amount the federal government allows its employees to pay for lodging while on official travel. What’s more, many private sector businesses and organizations also use the federal per diem rate as a guide when setting their own travel standards.
Per diem rates, which are set by the General Services Administration, have historically been calculated based on hotels’ average daily rate (ADR) from the previous fiscal year, less 5 percent. But since the pandemic, AHLA has worked closely with the GSA and Congress to ensure per diem rates reflect current market conditions.
In addition to helping secure fair per diem rates for fiscal year 2023, AHLA successfully lobbied to adjust the FY2021 and FY2022 calculations to reflect the fact that few people were traveling, room rates had dropped significantly, and the standard formula would have resulted in an artificially low per diem rate that would have hurt hotels just as they were trying to recover.
AHLA will continue advocating for fair per diem increases in markets that warrant them while also avoiding hurting hotels in markets that are taking longer to recover.
The federal government spends nearly $2.5 billion on hotel rooms annually.
Government meetings support nearly 300,000 jobs and generate $33.5 billion in travel spending annually.
$141.5 billion was generated by travel spending for federal, state, and local governments.