New Research, Campaign Highlight Economic Impact of Hotels

When you stay at a hotel, your money buys a lot more than a bed and a minibar. It also buys jobs and supports families, schools, parks and roads.

That's the message behind Dreams Happen Here, a new advocacy campaign launched yesterday by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) to promote the economic benefits of hotels in communities across the country.

"The American dream is thriving in the hotel sector," said AHLA President and CEO Katherine Lugar. "Our industry offers unrivaled upward mobility for its employees. At each hotel across the country, there are countless stories of individuals who start in entry-level jobs and quickly move up the ranks to run some of the largest hotel companies in the world."

The centerpiece of Dreams Happen Here is an economic impact analysis completed for AHLA by Oxford Economics, which reveals that hotels:

• Support 8 million jobs across the country;
• Host more than a billion guests every year who spend nearly $500 billion at hotels and local businesses;
• Contribute nearly $600 billion per year to the U.S. GDP;
• Support $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales, including hotel revenue, guest spending, and taxes; and
• Generate $170 billion per year in local, state, and federal taxes.

In addition to data, AHLA is telling hotels' economic story with events and activities that highlight hotels' role in creating lifelong careers for workers and enabling development in communities. This week, for instance, AHLA is hosting a series of activities in Washington, DC, to showcase the industry to lawmakers and the new Administration. Planned events include a food truck serving complimentary coffee and cookies on Capitol Hill, as well as a meeting of U.S. Senators and Representatives with the CEOs of AHLA member companies.

Concluded Lugar: "Hotels play an important role in each Congressional district around the country, from the jobs lodging businesses support, to the billions of dollars our members contribute to taxes and the U.S. GDP annually. Our Dreams Happen Here campaign underscores the strength and unity of our industry and more importantly the commitment and investment in the most important part of our industry: our people."