Faced with an ever-increasing economic hit to the domestic travel and tourism industry resulting from the ongoing government shutdown and the looming breach of the federal debt ceiling, the American Hotel &Lodging Association (AH&LA) and hoteliers from across the country sent a letter to President Barack Obama and all 535 members of the United States Congress pressing for a swift, bipartisan resolution.
"For every day that passes that President Obama and Congressare not at the negotiating table seeking an end to this crisis, the Americaneconomy - and the lodging industry - continue to suffer," said Katherine Lugar,AH&LA president/CEO. "Hoteliers area major economic driver and job creator across the country, and the industry'sability to continue its growth is hamstrung by inaction from ourpolicymakers. The administration, Houseof Representatives, and Senate need to act swiftly in the best interests of theentire nation and end this shutdown."
Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics, has noted that the economy will take a $50 billion hit if the shutdown extends to one month. Already, hotels across the United States are losing more than $57.6 million in economic activity for each week the shutdown continues. This, along with the$200 million per day in collective American income that is being lost, puts jobs at risk and has a ripple effect through other lodging-related sectors. Communities near national parks are being hit especially hard and are seeing the loss of $76 million per day in visitor spending and the cancellation of thousands of trips and hotel reservations.
The letter notes "Current fiscal conditions are leading to increased consumer uncertainty, all to the detriment of economic growth. In short, the government shutdown is increasingly impairing the lodging industry's ability to hire, grow, and contribute to the economy."
The letter continues, "Acting to put the debt on a downward path into the future and addressing our long-term fiscal challenges are imperative to stronger consumer confidence, future job growth, and our nation's standing throughout the world."
Signatories to the letter include state lodgingassociations, independent hoteliers, leading brands, and owners from across thecountry.
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century,the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole nationalassociation representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry,including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student andfaculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C.,AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, publicrelations and image management, education, research and information, and othervalue-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positivebusiness climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations providelocal representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.