Home Hospitality A Look Back at AHLA’s Advocacy Achievements

A Look Back at AHLA’s Advocacy Achievements

At the American Hotel & Lodging Association, advocacy on behalf of our 30,000-plus members is at the heart of everything we do. Thanks to the support of members like you and the hard work of our incredible team, AHLA racked up a host of impressive advocacy victories in 2023. Here are the highlights:

Advocacy Wins Across All Branches of the Federal Government
  • After months of AHLA lobbying, the General Services Administration in August announced its fiscal year 2024 per diem rates that will govern reimbursement for federal employees’ official lodging and meals expenses. The guidelines included a $9 increase to the lodging rate within the continental United States, which will generate an estimated $300 million for hoteliers.
  • The H-2B Workforce Coalition, which AHLA co-chairs, worked hard to convince the Biden Administration to make available an additional 64,716 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas in fiscal year 2024. This will nearly double the yearly allocation of H-2B visas.
  • In June, at AHLA’s request, the Small Business Administration issued new Paycheck Protection eligibility guidelines clarifying that hotel owners who utilized third-party management companies and participated in PPP are eligible for PPP loan forgiveness for payroll expenses they paid via a management company.
  • AHLA helped secure U.S. Senate introduction of the bipartisan Hotel Fees Transparency Act in July. The bill would create a single standard for mandatory fee display across the lodging ecosystem—from hotels to online travel agencies, metasearch sites, and short-term rental platforms.
  • In May, more than 200 hoteliers from more than 30 states participated in AHLA’s Hotels on the Hill fly-in on Capitol Hill in Washington. The event included more than 100 meetings with House and Senate offices about how labor shortages are impacting hotels and what Congress can do to help grow the hotel workforce.
  • Hoteliers scored a big victory this year when the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in the Acheson Hotels, LLC, v. Laufer case in October. The case involves a serial litigant who has sued hundreds of hotels under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) without having any intention of staying in those hotels. AHLA is hopeful the court will rule in favor of Acheson Hotels, thereby limiting future litigation to only those cases with true merit. This will provide peace of mind to hoteliers, who now live in constant fear of drive-by and click-by lawsuits from serial “tester” litigants seeking to make a quick buck off hardworking small-business owners.
State and Local Advocacy Victories Around the Country
  • In Anaheim, the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CHLA) and AHLA worked to successfully defeat a ballot measure that would have mandated a $25/hour hotel and event center worker minimum wage and double pay for the entire day if hotel room attendants cleaned rooms totaling above certain square-footage thresholds.
  • Also in California, AHLA worked with CHLA to develop language in two bills (AB-537 and SB-478) requiring uniform price-and-fee displays for hotels and short-term rental properties. The bills level the playing field among hotels and short-term-rentals like Airbnb by setting one universal standard for price-and-fee display.
  • AHLA and several partner state associations around the country teamed up to stop or defeat legislation in 12 states that would have prevented local governments from regulating short-term rental properties by the same standards as hotels. AHLA will continue to fight for legal and regulatory landscapes that treat all lodging establishments equally.
  • In Montana, AHLA worked with the Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association to secure passage of a bill that offers grant funding to hotels that house domestic violence and human trafficking survivors.
  • AHLA worked with HospitalityTN to secure passage of the Protecting Tennessee Businesses and Workers Act, a law that will prevent local governments from targeting small-business hotel owners and employees with costly new red tape. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed the law in May.
  • In New York City, tens of thousands of illegal short-term rentals were removed from the market thanks to an AHLA and Hotel Association of New York City-backed law that requires short-term rental businesses to register with the city government and limits short-term rental businesses to owner-occupied homes.
  • And in Illinois, AHLA was pleased to see passage of a law that boosts protection for hotels that remove or refuse to serve verbally abusive or disruptive customers. The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association led advocacy efforts in support of the “Be Kind” legislation, which was modeled on a similar law that passed in Rhode Island in 2022.

Thank you for your steadfast support in helping AHLA achieve these noteworthy accomplishments. In 2024, we look forward to continuing to work with partners, engage members, and invest in advocacy at every level of government to protect hoteliers and keep our industry moving forward.

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