The following is a statement from Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, on the federal per diem rates for FY2021 released by the General Services Administration (GSA).
“AHLA applauds the General Services Administration (GSA) for recognizing the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on government travel and hotel occupancy while establishing FY2021 per diem rates. Government travel is incredibly important to the hotel industry. Traditionally, it supports tens of thousands of jobs, and billions in travel spending that benefits communities across the country. Government per diem rates are also often used as a guide by other businesses and organizations in setting their travel standards. That’s why it’s so important that we establish fair and reasonable rates, especially at a time when our industry is fighting for survival. The reality is, due to the devastating impact of COVID-19, 2020 is projected to be the worst year on record for hotel occupancy. Industry experts estimate it will be early 2023 before hotels return to their previous occupancy, rate and revenue levels. We appreciate the GSA’s work to ensure fair and reasonable per diem rates for FY2021, and we look forward to welcoming back our government guests as travel resumes.”
BACKGROUND ON RATES
In light of the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the hotel lodging industry, GSA has adjusted the fiscal year (FY) 21 data window for rate setting by one month (i.e. March 2019 through February 2020 in lieu of the standard April 2019 through March 2020). For FY2021 the CONUS per diem rate is $151 ($96 lodging, $55 meals and incidental expenses), which is the same as FY2020. In FY2021, there are 319 Non-Standard Areas (NSAs) that have per diem rates higher than the standard CONUS rate as compared to 322 NSAs in FY20.