AH&LA: Communication is Key to Ending Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON—With no end to the government shutdown in sight, the lodging industry continues to see an economic impact.

“We’ve heard from countless members the impact this is having on reservations,” Vanessa Sinders, SVP and department head of governmental affairs, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), told Hotel Business. She noted that the impact isn’t just on hotels that book federal government travelers, but markets that rely on business from national parks or Canadian travelers who aren’t coming over the border because of uncertainty. “It’s had wide ranging impact on our industry and lots of other industries,” she said.

“We have been aggressively out there, talking to our members and communicating back to Capitol Hill and the President the need to fund the government and end the shutdown,” Sinders said. “Lodging has been a bright spot in the recent economic recovery—we hope that our government will do everything to help us continue growth.”

Sinders noted that it doesn’t seem like an agreement is forthcoming and the shutdown is likely to dovetail with the need to raise the debt ceiling when we exhaust extenuating measures on Oct. 17. She noted that it’s imperative to put “increasing pressure and urging from constituents on Congress and the President to find a pass forward and resolve this, so we have the certainty we need to get back on track.

“Our role is making sure the President and our Congress know how important this issue is to our members and how it impacts jobs,” she continued, urging AH&LA members to reach out to both the organization and the government. “If any members have questions or issues related to this shutdown, we are here to help.”