Washington, D.C. – January 26, 2015 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) today applauded Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai and Representative Louie Gohmert (TX-01) for their leadership and partnership with the hotel industry in implementing 911 direct dial capabilities. The hotel industry and AH&LA, the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, have been working closely with both offices on this issue.
“The hotel industry is grateful for the support of Commissioner Pai and Congressman Gohmert in working tirelessly on this issue and partnering with the hotel industry to resolve this. What happened in east Texas was a tragedy and the pain of Kari’s family still endures. Our membership urgently embraced the need to make changes and we’ve made a lot of progress in a short time,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AH&LA.
“The 10 largest chains in our membership, representing some 40 percent of the hotel industry, have fully implemented direct dial, with some outstanding properties in the process of addressing the issue. We’ll continue to work aggressively with all our membership to ensure that direct access to 911 is implemented across the board.”
Large and small hotels around the country have made tremendous progress in moving swiftly to implement 911 direct dial in all their guest rooms. Commissioner Pai and Congressman Gohmert held a press event in Marshall, TX today to praise the hotel industry and AH&LA for its leadership and discuss the progress to date. Pai said hotels and motels around the country have achieved “significant results.”
“AH&LA has been working with all of the association’s 19,790 member properties to move the ball forward on this issue. It’s been explaining how to upgrade phone systems to enable direct 911 dialing and educating them on the urgency of getting this done before another tragedy strikes. The results? Thousands of independent hotels and motels now have direct 911 dialing. I salute AH&LA for its leadership and commitment to solving this problem…the organization ha[s] taken the bull by the horns and worked hard on this issue,” said Commissioner Pai, in prepared remarks available here.
The hotel industry’s progress includes the following:
- Of the 10 largest chains, each has implemented direct dial at their owned and managed properties – there are only a few properties remaining, and the process will be complete soon.
- Many of these chains have taken a step further, with seven of the 10 chains implementing brand standards requiring direct dial 911 for all franchised properties.
- Each chain has invested heavily in franchisee education about direct dial 911 and advocated for direct dial to be in place.
- AH&LA convened an industry task force to share information and best practices with all our 20,000 member companies and offer educational support and resources.