AAHOA Advocacy Efforts See a Huge Win for Hoteliers As Per Diem Rates for FY2022 Freeze to 2019 Levels

AAHOA Advocacy Efforts See a Huge Win for Hoteliers As Per Diem Rates for FY2022 Freeze to 2019 Levels



The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently announced it is freezing the FY2022 per diem rates for government travel in the Continental United States (CONUS) at FY2021 levels, which means they are based on pre-COVID-19 rates.



AAHOA;

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently announced it is freezing the FY2022 per diem rates for government travel in the Continental United States (CONUS) at FY2021 levels, which means they are based on pre-COVID-19 rates.

The COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders, shutdowns, and social-distancing measures caused the average daily rate at hotels to plummet. This news is a huge win for the hotel and tourism industry, as the GSA is now required to take the economic impact of the coronavirus into consideration when setting future per diem rates for federal travel.

The FY2022 CONUS per diem rate is $151 ($96 for lodging and $55 for meals).

Thousands of small business owners and those they employ depend on the stabilization of pre- pandemic lodging reimbursement rates from the GSA.

Using the depressed industry figures from the past year as the basis for future per diem rates would have hindered government officials’ ability to travel in service to the American people and cut a crucial source of revenue for hotels and other small businesses.

“561 letters, 302 meetings, and 175 advocates – these are the numbers from AAHOA’s GSA per diem campaign and Virtual Action Summit meetings, where AAHOA Members advocated with their elected officials on freezing per diem rates,” AAHOA Interim President & CEO Ken Greene said. “AAHOA has been advocating with lawmakers to cosponsor and pass bills to establish fair per diem rates for months, and it’s great to see the grassroots efforts of AAHOA Members pay

off.”

AAHOA is grateful that the GSA moved quickly to stabilize per diem rates. Over the past several months, AAHOA made a persuasive and powerful case about how freezing per diem rates is vital to the hotel industry’s recovery. With budgets turned upside down by the pandemic and needs soaring, it was more critical than ever that our lawmakers hear from AAHOA Members – hoteliers and small business owners who own 60% of the hotels in the United States and employ more than one million people.

“No one makes the case for supporting the hotel industry like hotel owners, and our 20,000-

members, do,” said Interim President and CEO Ken Greene, “That’s because of what they bring to the table: Years of experience, passion for the industry, and dedication to serving the

common good, creating jobs, and supporting their local economy.”

AAHOA has advocated heavily on this subject, working closely with the Biden Administration, the GSA, and U.S. Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Bill Posey (R-FL), who introduced H.R. 2104 (the Restored, Equitable, Coronavirus Adjusted Lodging (RECAL) Act of 2021).

“In the COVID-19 era, it’s more important than ever that state lawmakers hear directly from hoteliers as we work to bounce back from the pandemic,” said AAHOA Chair Vinay Patel. “This commonsense legislation ensures a fair rate calculation and avoids exacerbating the current

economic crisis facing hoteliers,” he said. “Because per diem rates are also often used to guide other business decisions related to corporate travel standards, this represents a huge win for getting our industry back on track and supporting the local economy in cities and towns across the nation.”

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© 2021 Hotel News Resource



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