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AH&LA Legislative Action Summit

Hundreds of hoteliers to descend on Capitol Hill for AH&LA Legislative Action Summit

Attendees to hear from congressional leaders, industry CEOs, and policy experts.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AH&LA’s) annual Legislative Action Summit (LAS), April 1-2, at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C., brings together hundreds of hotel owners, senior executives of corporate brands, management companies, independent hoteliers, and general managers who will engage in important policy discussions with their industry peers and colleagues.

On April 1, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) will address “Congress and You: The 2014 Legislative Agenda,” providing their insights on the potential actions of the House of Representatives and Senate for the remainder of the year. That evening, Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) also will attend a special LAS reception where they will receive the association’s 2014 “Champions of the Industry” award for their strong support of the lodging industry and of travel and tourism in the U.S.

The remainder of the conference program includes:

  • A View from the Top: Lodging CEOs Talk Advocacy – Insights from the industry’s top leaders on the policy issues impacting your bottom line, including immigration and travel and tourism. Confirmed participants include Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton Worldwide; Arne Sorenson, president and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.; and Ed Walter, president and CEO, Host Hotels & Resorts.
  • An Insiders’ Look at the 2014 Elections – Get an inside view of this year’s elections from Anne Caprara, political director, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Rob Collins, executive director, National Republican Senatorial Committee.
  • An Immigration System for a 21st Century Economy – A panel discussion on the future of immigration reform, moderated by Tamar Jacoby, president, Immigration Works. Panelists include Cesar Gonzalez, chief of staff for Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and David Shahoulian, minority chief counsel, House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.
  • Smart Healthcare Reform for a Secure Workforce – A panel discussion on the challenges of implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

LAS attendees also will meet with members of the House of Representatives and Senate, giving hoteliers the opportunity to share the industry’s compelling story as a driver of job creation and economic growth.

“Whether it is immigration reform, promotion of travel to the U.S., or healthcare, the voice of lodging is important in these ongoing policy debates. The Legislative Action Summit is the premier opportunity for hoteliers to bring their story from cities and towns across the country to Capitol Hill,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “The timeliness of this conference will be key in stressing the impact of Washington policies on our members’ operations, including the important vote next week on changing the healthcare law’s definition of a full-time employee. Our outstanding slate of guest speakers and issue experts, together with opportunities for networking and meetings with policymakers, will give hoteliers the opportunity to provide their perspective on key policy decisions in Washington.”

American Express is the founding sponsor of the 2014 LAS, and Cornell University, Hcareers, HD Supply, and Heartland Payment Systems are supporting sponsors for the event.

ASTA Destination Expo Kickoffs in Merida Yucatan
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) announced the successful start of ASTA Destination Expo (ADE) Merida, Yucatan Mexico following the opening general session where Rolando Zapata Bello, the Yucatan Governor, and Claudia Ruiz Massieu, the Secretary of Mexico Tourism, welcomed delegates.

ASTA ADE will offer nearly 400 participants, including travel professionals, supplier representatives and tourism executives, the opportunity to immerse themselves in the gastronomy, culture and history of the region, and return home with a comprehensive understanding of the wonders of the Yucatan. Many will also earn destination specialist certificates.

“It is a tremendous honor for us to partner with ASTA and host this immersive learning and networking experience for travel professionals,” said Mr. Saul Ancona, Secretary of Tourism of the State of Yucatan. “We look forward to reaping the rewards of having a trained, energized and motivated cadre of North American travel professionals that will showcase the wonders and value that the Yucatan offers.”

“Merida, the Yucatan Peninsula and Mexico are strategically important tourism partners,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA president and CEO. “I want to thank the Tourism Boards of Yucatan and Mexico for understanding the value of creating a hands-on training opportunity. It’s a win-win. Participating travel professionals will win by gaining first-hand experience about an amazing destination that will help expand their business and gain new clients, and the Yucatan will win from a growth in visitors to the region that this motivated and trained sales force will ultimately produce.”

ASTA offers its sincere thanks to ASTA ADE sponsors – Tourism of the State of Yucatan, Mexico Tourism Board, AeroMexico, Grupo Posadas/Fiesta Americana, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and Sabre Travel Network.  
ASTA Destination Expo (ADE) is an immersive, onsite learning experience that offers participants:  up-to-the-minute intelligence on industry issues; access to regional and local contacts; and, the opportunity to become a highly marketable destination specialist in a strategically important and growing tourism region.