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AHLA Launches New Campaign on Job Growth and Economic Impact of Hotel Industry

New Research, Underscores Economic Benefits of Hotel Industry Across U.S.
A collage of hotel industry employees - Source AHLA
The Faces of Hospitality


The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today launched Dreams Happen Here, a national campaign focused on the economic benefits the hotel industry brings to every community across the country. With new, comprehensive data that reveals the hotel industry supports 8 million jobs across the country and contributes nearly $600 billion annually to the U.S. GDP, the hotel industry is powering the nation’s economy and advancing its employees.

Conducted by Oxford Economics, this is the most thorough economic impact analysis of the industry to date, showcasing the depth and breadth of the industry and its value to the communities they serve, advancing lifelong careers, investing in local development and boosting economic opportunities. As part of the campaign, AHLA is launching a week of hospitality-focused activities in Washington, D.C. to showcase the strength of the industry and the jobs that lead to long-term career and economic opportunities for our employees to Capitol Hill and the new Administration. View the report and additional documents here.

Some of the key findings from the Oxford Economics research include:

  • More than one billion guests stay in hotels every year.
  • Hotels support $1.1 trillion in U.S. sales, including hotel revenue, guest spending and taxes.
  • Hotels generate $170 billion in local, state and federal taxes.
  • Hotels contribute nearly $600 billion to the U.S. GDP.
  • Guests spend nearly $500 billion at hotels and local businesses.

“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,” said AHLA President and CEO Katherine Lugar. “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.”

The lodging industry is widely known as providing its workers with great on-the-job training and fast-track promotional opportunities, two key factors that make hotel jobs some of the most coveted in the country, particularly with millennials. Further, with 61 percent of hotels – more than 33,000 properties –considered small businesses, the important link between the hotel industry and the cities and towns hotels call home has never been more important to continue fostering economic growth and opportunity.

“The American Dream is thriving in the hotel sector,” said 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.”

In addition to releasing new data, AHLA will promote several hospitality events around Washington D.C. this week. On Wednesday, AHLA will host a food truck on Capitol Hill, which will serve complimentary coffee and cookies to Congressional staff. Member company CEOs will also meet this week with U.S. Senators and Representatives from both parties. The campaign was previewed last summer during both the Republican and Democratic conventions.

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