AHLA, Industry Reps Urge GSA to Retain Current Per Diem System

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), along with representatives from member companies, participated in a public hearing hosted by the General Services Administration’s (GSA) new interagency working group to examine if the methodology for determining per diem rate boundary lines should be changed. AHLA expressed support of the current per diem system, which reassesses per diem rates each year based on accountable, transparent local market data.

“Government travel is incredibly important to the hotel industry, generating thousands of jobs and millions in travel spending that supports communities around the country,” said Craig Kalkut, AHLA’s VP of government affairs. “The American Hotel & Lodging Association and the hotel industry have worked closely with the General Services Administration to ensure that lodging per diem rates align with market conditions and also reflect good value for the government. Although the system is certainly not foolproof, it has worked.”

Hotel industry participants who appeared on behalf of the lodging sector included Kalkut; Sandi Millstein, Intercontinental Hotels Group’s key account director of Americas sales; Bill Mckeand, Intercontinental Hotels Group’s Americas sales specialist of government transient & travel agency sales; and Scott E. Lamb, Hilton Worldwide sales director of government segment.

“As an industry, we hope that this new working group will engage closely with the travel industry and consider our input prior to making any changes to the current per diem system. AHLA will continue advocating with both the GSA and this new working group to ensure hotels can best accommodate the needs of government travelers,” said Kalkut.

The GSA interagency working group members are represented by the following agencies: Department of Defense; Department of Energy; Department of Health and Human Services; Department of Interior; Department of Labor; and the Government Accountability Office.