AHLA, INDUSTRY REPS TO GSA: RETAIN CURRENT PER DIEM SYSTEM; SUPPORTS GOVERNMENT TRAVEL, LODGING INDUSTRY ACROSS COUNTRY

Washington, D.C. – October 27, 2016 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), along with representatives from member companies, participated in a public hearing hosted by the General Services Administration’s (GSA) new interagency working group to examine if the methodology for determining per diem rate boundary lines should be changed. AHLA expressed support of the current per diem system, which reassesses per diem rates each year based on accountable, transparent local market data.

“Government travel is incredibly important to the hotel industry, generating thousands of jobs and millions in travel spending that supports communities around the country,” said Craig Kalkut, AHLA’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “The American Hotel & Lodging Association and the hotel industry have worked closely with the General Services Administration to ensure that lodging per diem rates align with market conditions and also reflect good value for the government. Although the system is certainly not foolproof, it has worked.”

Hotel industry participants who appeared on behalf of the lodging sector included: AHLA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Craig Kalkut; Intercontinental Hotels Group’s Key Account Director of Americas Sales, Sandi Millstein; Intercontinental Hotels Group’s Americas Sales Specialist of Government Transient & Travel Agency Sales, Bill Mckeand; and Hilton Worldwide Sales Director of Government Segment, Scott E. Lamb.

“As an industry, we hope that this new working group will engage closely with the travel industry and consider our input prior to making any changes to the current per diem system. AH&LA will continue advocating with both the GSA and this new working group to ensure hotels can best accommodate the needs of government travelers,” said Kalkut.

The GSA interagency working group members are represented by the following agencies: Department of Defense; Department of Energy; Department of Health and Human Services; Department of Interior; Department of Labor; and the Government Accountability Office.

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Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 8 million jobs the U.S. lodging industry supports, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, bed and breakfasts, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry that advances long-term career opportunities for employees, invests in local communities across the country and hosts more than one billion guests nights in American hotels every year. AHLA proudly represents a dynamic hotel industry of more than 54,000 properties that supports $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales and contributes nearly $170 billion to the U.S. economy. Learn more at www.AHLA.com.