The following article appeared on 4Hoteliers.com on April 29, 2015:
The IHG Owners Association, which represents the interests of thousands of InterContinental Hotels Group® (IHG) hotel owners worldwide, has been monitoring important government issues and meeting with legislators on behalf of its members.
The Association recently convened in Washington, D.C. with a delegation of nearly 60 IHG owners for the annual Legislative Action Summit hosted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA).
Participants also attended an IHG Owners Association-sponsored reception which featured speakers Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the AH&LA, and Michael J. Lotito, well-known attorney with Littler Mendelson P.C. and co-chair of the firm's Workplace Policy Institute which provides advocacy on workplace concerns.
"Over the years, the IHG Owners Association has worked hard to protect and support the interests of the diverse ownership community of IHG hotels," said Kerry Ranson, Chairman of the IHG Owners Association and President and Chief Operating Officer of New Orleans-based Expotel Hospitality Services. "This year, we were especially encouraged to meet personally with several Members of Congress and I'd like to see more of this in the future - actual face-to-face meetings are invaluable to show legislators how we work and how important the hospitality business is to our country's economy."
For example, during the Legislative Action Summit, Ranson and other IHG Owners Association delegates personally met with four legislators from Ranson's home State of Louisiana - Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D.,Congressman Garret Graves, Congressman Cedric Richmond and Congressman Steve Scalise.
New Industry Advocate Committee
Heading up the Association's newly-formed "Industry Advocate Committee" is Doug Denman, owner of Worth Hotels, LLC and an Executive Committee Member of the IHG Owners Association's Emerging Leaders Council (ELC) for hotel owners under age 40. The Industry Advocate Committee serves as the political voice of IHG owners and encourages them to reach out and cultivate relationships with their political representatives at the federal, state and local levels. Through INN PAC, the new group evaluates the positions and voting records of Congressional candidates to determine the best ways to support those who are dedicated to improving the climate for the travel and tourism industry.
Said Denman, "We are coming together to advocate for legislation favorable to the hotel industry, and to give avoice to hotel owners' interests on Capitol Hill. I encourage more IHG hotel owners to participate in the democratic process and reach out to legislators to impact critical issues and safeguard their long-term success."
Denman pointed to the three biggest issues on this year's legislative agenda:
1. Protecting the Franchise Model - Many of our nation's legislators are unaware that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is rewriting the rules of franchising so that franchisors will be liable for franchisee operations. Such a change in the franchise model would break the relationship between franchisee and franchisor; the franchisee would no longer be a small business owner, and the franchisor would be a "joint employer". This has far-reaching negative implications, especially where our legal system is concerned.
2. Restoring the Full-Time Work Week to 40 Hours - The new definition of the Affordable Care Act (ACC) for a full-time work week of 30 hours is hurting business owners and employees alike. It does not address the variable nature of the hotel industry workforce and if not changed, will lead to a nation of part-time workers with multiple jobs. The AH&LA encourages support of Senate Bill S. 30 - "The Forty Hours of Full-Time Act of 2015."
3. Protecting Our Guests from Online Deception - With some $152 billion being spent annually on hotel bookings, third-party online ads and search engines have increasingly been misleading consumers to believe they are booking directly with hotels and/or participating in branded reward programs. Such deceptive practices can lead consumers astray, damage the guest experience and add up to millions in lost room charges, cancellation and booking fees.
"We are working to ensure that for next year's Legislative Action Summit event, 100 or more of our owner members will travel to Washington, D.C. to participate," said Ranson. "Especially as the industry is facing such important issues, we need to be shouting our message from the rooftops and bringing legislators into our hotels to show them how we work and how important our business is to their local economy."
INN PAC, the Political Action Committee (PAC) of the IHG Owners Association, was created to provide IHG owners and operators with strong representation in our nation's Capitol. Formed in 1978 to be voluntary and non-partisan, INN PAC is dedicated to the preservation of free enterprise. INN PAC amplifies, educates and mobilizes members to become more politically active, and supports candidates who promote legislation and policies that establish a fair business environment, allowing the lodging industry to create jobs and grow the economy.
Contributions from IHG owners make it possible to have an impact on the outcome of federal elections and ensure that the lodging industry's concerns are heard in Washington. INN PAC uses the contributions for political purposes and is subject to the prohibitions and limitations of the Federal Election Campaign Act.
Link to Online Article: http://www.4hoteliers.com/news/story/14179