US lodging industry urges “no” vote in House of Representatives on Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) Act

Washington, DC, United States, 2013-11-19 — / — The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry, urges a “no” vote in the House of Representatives on the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) Act of 2013 (H.R. 2061).  As amended, this bill includes provisions to limit the amount federal agencies can spend on individual conferences, resulting in a negative impact on the bottom line of hotels and facilities hosting these events.  The association issued the following statement:

“The lodging industry is supportive of efforts to seek an appropriate balance between responsible use of public funds and preserving the benefits of in-person meetings and conferences relied upon by many agencies,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “However, setting a funding limit of $500,000 per government conference and reducing the number of employees allowed to travel to these meetings is arbitrary and does nothing to recognize the true value of these events.”

“On the heels of the significant impacts of sequestration and the recent 16-day government shutdown that cost the industry $115.2 million in lost economic activity, passage of this legislation only holds further bad news for hoteliers.  As such, our industry stands ready to collaborate with the federal government on reaching a solution that both ensures the needs of federal agencies are met and allows our industry to continue its impact as a driver of economic growth and job creation.”

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Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (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.