Business & Finance

Hundreds of Hoteliers to Descend on Capitol Hill for AHLA, AAHOA Members to Meet With Congressional Leaders

Attendees to Promote Job Creation, Guest Service, Community Partnerships

WASHINGTON, D.C. May 18, 2017 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) join forces on May 17-18 as nearly 500 hoteliers from across the country come to Washington, D.C. for a joint hotel day on Capitol Hill. During the two-day Legislative Action Summit (LAS), hoteliers will raise awareness with Congressional leaders and hold some 250 meetings about the strength of the lodging industry and its meaningful impact on communities around the country.

This is the third year AHLA and AAHOA have partnered to underscore the lodging industry’s strength and unity, with this year’s theme focusing on how hotels are creating jobs, serving guests and supporting communities.

Supporting nearly 8 million American jobs, driving $600 billion to the U.S. economy each year, and contributing $170 billion in federal, state and local taxes, the impact of the hotel industry is undeniable. And as AHLA and AAHOA members meet with Members of Congress and their staffs, they will advocate for policies that encourage travel and tourism promotion, business growth, and entrepreneurial opportunities while urging more transparency on the rise of commercial activity fostered by short-term rental platforms and protecting consumers from online hotel booking scams.

“Located in every congressional district, hotels are interwoven into the fabric of each community across the country, creating jobs, serving guests, and supporting communities. As a guest-centric industry that focuses on opportunities and experiences, we are an industry of people, from our guests to our workers. The power of our industry lies in the opportunities hotels create for men and women seeking pathways toward upward mobility, fast-track promotions and lifelong, successful careers. Sharing those stories of promoting our employees, building partnerships with local leaders, and answering our guests’ needs is what makes us so unique as an industry and so important for members of Congress to know,” said AHLA president and CEO Katherine Lugar.

“Our annual Legislative Action Summit always promises dynamic opportunities for hoteliers to explain firsthand how Congress’ decisions impact their business and team members. From urging lawmakers to request the Federal Trade Commission to study the rise of commercial operators on short-term rental platforms to protecting consumers from online hotel booking scams to promoting travel and tourism and advocating for smart immigration and workforce policies, Congress has an important role to play in creating the environment to allow small businesses to grow and create more jobs.”

Chip Rogers, AAHOA President and CEO, commented, “As Congress confronts the many challenges facing our country, hoteliers are united in advocating for our employees, our businesses and our industry. AAHOA is thrilled to join forces with AHLA for our Legislative Action Summit for the third straight year. Advocating for hoteliers in our nation’s capital is essential with all the important issues being addressed by Congress on a daily basis. This week, we’ll be talking to lawmakers about tax reform, stopping predatory lawsuits and responsible home-sharing. Tackling these issues will help hotels support the 8 million jobs that rely on our industry, serve guests and support their communities.”

LAS participants will also hear from key leaders in Washington who will offer their insights on the political climate and congressional landscape, including remarks by Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley (D-NY), and political analysist Amy Walter.

The lodging industry continues to focus on growth and the nation’s economic resurgence while improving the employment landscape. Each day, nearly 5 million people check into a hotel, spending some $500 billion at local businesses during their trips. As a business of people serving people, taking care of our own is a top priority. The hotel industry creates competitive jobs with good benefits, and empowers its employees to advance quickly through the ranks to higher management positions. Indeed, more than 50 percent of general managers in the lodging industry began in entry-level jobs and three out of every five hotels are small businesses.

About the American Hotel & Lodging Association

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’ stays 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 generates nearly $170 billion in taxes to local, state and federal governments. Learn more at www.AHLA.com.

About the Asian American Hotel Owners Association

Founded in 1989, AAHOA (www.aahoa.com) is the largest hotel owners association in the world, with more than 16,500 small business owner-members. AAHOA members own almost one in every two hotels in the United States, employing 600,000 workers and accounting for nearly $10 billion in payroll annually. AAHOA is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with its government affairs office located in Washington, D.C.

Contact:
Katie Longo
klongo@ahla.com
202-289-3148

Brandon VerVelde
brandon@aahoa.com
202-945-4594

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.