What is the American Hotel and Lodging Association and why should I join?

By: Emadene Travers, J.D. Ph.D. GAC | Faculty, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division

May 30, 2018

Thinking about a career in hotels, lodging, or resorts?  If so, you want to become familiar with the leading professional associations that serve the lodging industry.  One well-known organization is the American Hotel and Lodging Association, or AHLA.  A quick visit to the AHLA website reveals a wealth of information. 

For example, did you know that the hotel industry is responsible for creating some 8 million American jobs with 1.1 trillion dollars in U.S. sales?  Did you know on average that the hotel industry serves some 5 million guests each day at more than 54,000 hotel properties?  According to Katherine Lugar, President and CEO, AHLA is the only national association that serves all segments of the lodging industry.  Currently, AHLA has over 24,000 members and has responsibility for various activities that engage and promote the industry.  Some activities include advocacy in Washington, DC, market intelligence and data gathering, education, conferences and events, and networking opportunities.


What’s great is that AHLA offers different membership categories.  If you are a student, there is a Student Membership for only $45 per year.  Student members get access to AHLA Research and a free subscription to Lodging magazine.  Students also have access to the AHLA Educational Foundation where you can find out about scholarships and research grants.  You can also take advantage of networking and job search opportunities by attending AHLA events and putting your resume in the AHLA Resume Database hosted on the HCareers website.  Other membership categories include Women in Lodging, Branded and Independent Properties, and Under 30 Gateway membership.

In browsing the AHLA website, you will see several categories of information.  Key sections include Advocacy, Events, Newsroom, and Career Development.  Check out the Newsroom for all the latest press releases about the lodging industry’s involvement in issues like food waste reduction and online booking scams. In the Career Development section you will learn about apprenticeships, job openings, and certifications.  In the Events section you will find all the latest conferences and events hosted by AHLA that you can register to attend.  In the Advocacy section you will learn about key issues facing the industry, including human trafficking, immigration reform, overtime provisions, and illegal hotels.  This section also discusses AHLA’s official position and key statistics on each issue. 

Hopefully the website has convinced you that membership in AHLA can do a lot to promote your personal and professional development as a hotel, lodging, or resort employee.  As they say, “knowledge is power.”  Don’t forget about the value of networking, too!

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By: Emadene Travers, J.D. Ph.D. GAC | Faculty, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh—Online Division

May 30, 2018