Marlene Colucci

Southern Lodging Summit 2011
AH&LA’s Top Governmental
Affairs Issues
•Travel & Tourism Promotion
•Labor Issues
•Internet Travel Tax Fairness Act (ITTFA)
•New ADA Regulations
Travel & Tourism
Travel Promotion Act
(signed into law 2010)
• Public-private partnership: explain U.S. security policies and attract
millions of international visitors through advertising campaign
• Created “Corporation for Travel Promotion”
Corporation for Travel Promotion
Named Jim Evans CEO May 17 - 30 year hotel industry veteran
No-taxpayer money /ESTA funds to date = $85 million
TPA estimated to attract 1.6 million new international visitors
The campaign is expected to debut in early 2012
Travel & Tourism
Discover America Partnership
Coalition Leadership:
• AH&LA, USTA, Chamber of Commerce & National Retail
• Over 50 members: Ex. Hotels, Restaurants, Unions,
U.S . Conference of Mayors, Consumer Electronics Assoc.
• Make Visa offices responsive to demand
• Reduce visa interview wait time
• Expand the Visa Waiver Program
Labor Issues
Department of Labor (DOL) Audits
• Audit Letters Being Issued
• Congressional Activity
• Oversight - Make DOL responsive through
hearings/funding mechanisms
• Appropriations - Eliminate funding for X,Y,Z activity
H-2B Regulations
H-2B Regulations
• H-2B Program critical to secure temporary seasonal workers
• Dept. of Labor proposed new rules that jeopardizes program:
• Increases H-2B pay to essentially union wages
• All other employees also raised to same wage level
• Transport, advertising, etc. requirements effectively
makes program unusable
• AH&LA co-chairs H-2B coalition
• Working on legislation and litigation to block rule
Labor Issues
Fighting Back-Door Card Check
• Ambush Elections
• NLRB to shorten time for Union elections to 7-10 days
• Gag Order on Employers
• DOL rulemaking to change public discourse requirements
• Specialty Health Care
• Micro-Unions (Gerrymandering the workforce)
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (R-NY)
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)
Online Hotel Booking Tax
Internet Travel Tax Fairness Act (ITTFA)
Online Hotel Booking Tax
What’s at Issue
• Proposed legislation would exempt OTCs from paying
any taxes on retail rate
• Creates preferential tax treatment
Current Situation
• Stalled on the Federal level – appearing at State level
• Florida – AH&LA killed bill this session
• AH&LA strategy for PSAs & state action
Bloomberg TV
National Landscape
Booking Travel Online May be
Costing States Half a Billion in
Cities, States in hotel tax war
with Orbitz, Expedia, Others
October 22, 2010
February 5, 2011
Cities Sue Online Firms Over
Unpaid Hotel Taxes
April 12, 2011
Online Travel Industry Wants
Reid To Stick Around.
September 25, 2010
Florida – A Key Battleground
Stop unfair tax breaks for
April 20, 2011
Online carpetbaggers
fleece Florida
April 6, 2011
Bill to help onlinetravel companies
squeaks through
another stop
April 6, 2011
Bill gives online
travel companies
unfair advantage
April 9, 2011
Florida and local governments are
losing out when it comes to
online travel tax breaks
Make websites pay full
share: Florida counties
are getting stiffed $23
million in bed-tax
April 5, 2011
March 18, 2011
Report Says Florida
among states with
tax loophole costing
April 13, 2011
Web Companies
Would Get Break
April 5, 2011
Our Opinion: Online
travel hijinks
April 1, 2011
Around The States
Georgia Supreme
Court considers
whether online travel
firm is shortchanging
city on hotel tax
Our views: Collect
what's due
March 20, 2011
March 15, 2011
Hawaii to pursue
$170M in unpaid
hotel room taxes
District enters the
fight to recover tax
revenue from online
hotel vendors
March 27, 2011
March 23, 2011
DC latest to sue
online travel
companies over tax
March 22, 2011
April 24,2011
State Pursues $170
Million in Unpaid Hotel
Room Taxes from Online
Travel Companies
D.C. to sue online
firms for unpaid
March 22, 2011
D.C. to sue Internet
travel companies
March 21, 2011
ADA Regulations – Top 11 Changes
Water Closet Clearances
Power Mobility Devices
Vanity Equity
Service Animals
Guestroom Door Signage
Pools & Spas
Reach Range Requirements
Exercise Equipment
Service Counters
HotelPAC: AH&LA’s Political Action Committee
Voice of the lodging industry on Capitol Hill
March 12 -13, 2012 Washington DC
Legislative Action Summit
Contact Information
Marlene Colucci
Executive Vice President for Public Policy
American Hotel & Lodging Association
(202) 289-3121 / [email protected]
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