Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive


AH&LA Defends Value of Meetings for Federal Agencies

Cites Benefits of Meetings to U.S. Economy

Washington, D.C., October 3, 2011 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) today sent a letter to The Honorable Jack Lew, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), regarding his memorandum on excessive conference spending for federal agencies.
The September 21 memo titled, “Eliminating Excess Conference Spending and Promoting Efficiency in Government,” instructed all agencies and departments to conduct a thorough review of the policies associated with conference-related activities and expenses. These expenses must now be approved by a deputy secretary until appropriate controls are certified to be in place to prevent excessive spending. This creates a bottleneck in the approval process and inhibits employees from carrying out their normal job functions. 
While applauding the government’s efforts to rein in waste and fraud, AH&LA believes that taking such a sweeping approach will not solve the inherent issue and may result in unintended consequences.
AH&LA stated in the letter that this policy change could have serious repercussions across the lodging and travel industries by discouraging legitimate business meetings and events. As such, the directive is counterproductive to both governmental effectiveness and the goal of reviving the American economy. AH&LA encourages OMB to target abusive spending such as the approximately $100 million in unauthorized travel upgrades by federal employees, instead of broadly discouraging meetings.
According to a study released by the Convention Industry Council, the U.S. meetings industry directly supports 1.7 million jobs, a $106 billion contribution to GDP, $263 billion in spending, $60 billion in labor revenue, $14.3 billion in federal tax revenue and $11.3 billion in state and local tax revenue.[1] As such, any discouragement in face-to-face meetings would severely hurt not only the lodging industry, but the economy as a whole.

“The lodging industry sees firsthand the productivity that results from face-to-face interactions, as hotels host 85% of meetings,” said AH&LA President/CEO Joe McInerney. “Downgrading or delaying governmental conferences would be shortsighted and ultimately counterproductive. I welcome the chance to speak with Director Lew to discuss the important, positive impact meetings provide for our federal employees.”

The association is asking Director Lew to “control costs without placing the effectiveness of the government and thousands of American jobs in jeopardy.”  To read the full letter, click here.

The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy, the Convention Industry Council, Feb. 17, 2011.

Serving the hospitality industry for a century, 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

Eric Reller
(202) 289-3122

  Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here
Also See: AH&LA Surveys Industry in Aftermath of Hurricane Irene; Hoteliers Share Lessons Learned and Stories Exemplifying Hospitality / September 2011

AH&LA Lodging Industry Profile (LIP) Charts Profits, Sales and International Arrivals for 2010 Which Indicate Slight Uptick in Profitability / August 2011

David Kong and Montine McNulty Receive AH&LA Lawson Odde Award / June 2011

Partner Lodging Associations Honored by AH&LA for Outstanding Leadership and Growth / June 2011

AH&LA Honors Outstanding Hotel Employees with Annual Stars of the Industry Awards / June 2011

AH&LA Honors Hotels With National Achievement Awards; Hotels with Innovative IT, Environmental, Service Programs Recognized / June 2011

American Hotel & Lodging Association Presents 2011 John Whitaker Award to David Goldstone and State Leadership Awards to Members of Each Partner State Association in Recognition of Their Assistance with AH&LA Programs / March 2011

American Hotel & Lodging Association Quizzes Hoteliers on Mandatory Americans with Disabilities Act 2010 Regulations; Deadline to Comply with ADA is March 15, 2011 / March 2011

Mayur Chheda Of Infinity Hotel Group Named To American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Board Of Directors / February 2011

Joe Martin Takes Role of 2009 American Hotel & Lodging Association Chairman John Campbell Elected Secretary/treasurer, Will Serve as Chairman in 2011 / November 2008

The AH&LA Elects David Kong as 2008 Secretary/treasurer; The President and CEO of Best Western International Will Serve as the Association’s Chairman in 2010 / November 2007

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome | Hospitality News
| Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.