Hotels invited to participate in Maryland Office of Tourism "Open for the Holidays" campaign
In 2021, the Maryland Office of Tourism’s Open For The Holidays (OFTH) Campaign provided an $8 to $1 return-on-investment by marketing overnight stays provided by participating accommodations listed in their database.
In 2022, the campaign is being expanded to include all businesses and events interested in increasing consumer awareness of loyalty programs, deals, discounts, specials, etc. offered during the holiday season. The offerings can relate to accommodations, attractions, dining, event tickets, shopping and more. The campaign will run from 11/14/22 through 12/18/22 and will target the state’s overnight travel markets.
Hotels wishing to maximize their opportunity during the OFTH campaign should follow these two steps:
1. Add your business listing and event information to the VisitMaryland.org database. If you already have information in the database, review it to ensure it is up-to-date. Please allow 48 hours for the information to sync. If you have any questions or issues, please contact Brandon Chan or Flo Brant.
2. Add your promotions through the Deals and Discounts portal. Offers may include lodging, dining, attractions, etc. To make your promotion standout, the Maryland Office of Tourism encourages you to offer seasonal specials instead of a generic one such as added-value incentives, add-ons such as Holiday Light Displays, holiday-themed attractions, or nearby shopping coupon offers. All promotions must be tourism-related.
For more ways to work with the Maryland Office of Tourism year-round, download this checklist.
Maryland Hotel Workers Now Required to Receive Annual Training to Spot the Signs of Human Trafficking
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Annapolis, MD – A new law went into effect on October 1, 2022, requiring all innkeepers in Maryland provide annual human trafficking prevention training to employees. Hotel operators across the state must now provide employees with annual training that has been certified and approved as meeting the requirements defined by the state. Training must be conducted annually, and within the first 90 days for newly hired employees.
Since 2019, the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association (MHLA) has partnered with the Seattle-based nonprofit, Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) to provide human trafficking awareness training for MHLA’s members and their staff, free of charge. BEST provides expertise in human trafficking prevention, and BEST’s Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training, sponsored by AAHOA, is an online, video-based training developed specifically for the hotel industry that has received approval in Maryland to meet the new law’s annual requirement for innkeepers.
“BEST is pleased that our training meets all of the requirements in Maryland to help hotels in providing employees with training on the prevention, identification, and reporting of human trafficking,” said Mar Brettmann, CEO and Executive Director for BEST. “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association and to support their members in meeting this annual training requirement.” Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training is a 30-minute, online, video-based training that can be taken individually or in a group setting. The training is available in English or Spanish, and it has been proven to increase hotel employee reporting. In 2019 researchers from Arizona State University evaluated the training and found that 97 percent of hotel employees who took the training said it will help prevent sex trafficking incidents. Ninety-six percent of employees reported taking at least one recommended step to prevent trafficking at their hotel.
Human trafficking networks often rely on legitimate businesses, such as hotels, to sustain their operations and infrastructure. But when hotel employees are properly trained in what to look for, human trafficking can be identified and safely reported to help keep all guests safe and permitting victims to be connected with the services they need.
Maryland joins nine other states that have already implemented laws regarding human trafficking prevention training for employees in the lodging industry: California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, Florida, Iowa, North Dakota, Texas, and Illinois. In 2023, Virginia and New York also plan to begin requiring lodging facilities to provide human trafficking prevention training for employees.
MHLA President & CEO Amy Rohrer stated, “The lodging industry has long united around the ‘No Room for Trafficking’ campaign designed by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and their foundation. We commend the Maryland General Assembly for passing legislation addressing this horrific crime at hotels while also recognizing the industry’s existing efforts to utilize human trafficking awareness training and other techniques to identify, report and stop human trafficking. This illegal activity will not be tolerated in Maryland hotels, and we are proud to continue supporting our members in their efforts to stop it.”
About Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST)
Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization with the mission to educate employers to prevent human trafficking and create pathways to employment for survivors. BEST is the first organization in the country dedicated entirely to working with employers to disrupt human trafficking. BEST has provided consultation and training to hundreds of employers on how to prevent human trafficking. For more information visit www.bestalliance.org.
About Maryland Hotel Lodging Association (MHLA)
The Maryland Hotel Lodging Association (MHLA) is a trade-based membership organization representing Maryland’s $8 Billion lodging industry with more than 80,000 rooms in 700+ hotels across the state. MHLA provides advocacy, information, recognition, and networking opportunities that benefit lodging industry owners, managers, associates, related businesses, and communities in Maryland. To learn more, please visit www.mdlodging.org.
Hotel business travel revenue in Baltimore and Washington, DC area continues to lag in 2022 vs. 2019
Yesterday the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Kalibri Labs released a new analysis that shows U.S. hotel leisure travel revenue is projected to end 2022 14% above 2019 levels, while hotel business travel revenue is expected to come within 1% of 2019 levels.
The study notes that “projections are not adjusted for inflation, and real hotel revenue recovery will likely take several more years.”
MHLA President & CEO Amy Rohrer stated, “Hotel recovery across the country and within Maryland remains uneven, particularly in urban markets dependent on business travel. Baltimore and the Washington, DC area continue to lag in recovery compared to most of the top 50 U.S. markets.
New requirements related to human trafficking prevention take effect October 1, 2022 for Maryland hotels
HB270 /SB91 was enacted under Article II, § 17(c) of the Maryland Constitution on May 29, 2022. A compliance alert has been shared with lodging members via email and is also posted in the MEMBERS PORTAL under "Compliance & Operational Resources".
Members may contact MHLA President & CEO Amy Rohrer with any questions.
On Monday, September 19, 2022, members and friends came together for MHLA's Annual Golf Outing at the Whiskey Creek Golf Course in Frederick, MD. Tremendous support was shown, with golf nearing a sell out crowd and sponsorship at a very high level, again this year. Ecolab was the Title Sponsor for the 8th year in a row and Live! Casino & Hotel show great support again, as the Presenting Sponsor.
$5,000 to be donated to MTEF!
The success of the 2022 MHLA Golf Outing enables us to give back to the industry. MHLA is proud to announce that a $5,000 donation will be given this year to the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation in support of hospitality scholarships. With this donation, more than $24,000 in MHLA golf proceeds has been donated to the foundation in the past three years. Grace Schuler joined the event as one of the 2022 scholarship recipients, and MHLA looks forward to helping Grace and others to further their careers in hospitality.
Click here to view more photos from the day.
Congratulations to our 2022 MHLA Golf Outing WINNERS!
1st Place Team
Parking Management Company
5B - SCORE OF 56 (Eagle #4)
SCOTT GOINS BILLY CEASE CHRIS MURREN TIM TROUTNER
2nd Place Team
18A - SCORE OF 56
DAVE DOROUGH ANDREW HOPKINS ROSS CRAMPTON DAVE LUIZZI
3rd Place Team
Parking Management Company
9B - SCORE OF 58 (Eagle #18)
DARYL STRAYER ALEX THOMPSON RON LOMAN
Longest Drive - Women
LINDA MOSS- First Energy
Longest Drive - Men
BILLY CEASE- Parking Management Company
Closest to the Pin
GEOFF LINDSAY 6'5"- Clearview Group LLC
KEEGAN SCHIMMELMAN- Westin Annapolis
Helicopter Ball Drop
HAL HOCKING – BMS Cat
BILLY CEASE 3'6"- Parking Management Company
Thank you to all of our volunteers, donors and sponsors listed below. The success of the outing would not be possible without all of them.
Thank you to our GOLF COMMITTEE!
CHAIR - Michael Henningsen, Plamondon Hospitality Partners
Rodney Gooden, Westin Annapolis
Theresa Keysar, Valcourt Building Services
Pete Mangione, Turf Valley Resort
Chris Rapp, Triple Crown Construction
Jim Stark, Best Western Plus BWI Airport - Arundel Mills
Thank you to our VOLUNTEERS!
Sharon Bear, Plamondon Hospitality Partners
Jim Berrigan, Ruppert Landscape, Inc.
Regina Boston, RMB Photography
Evelin Castro, Best Western Plus BWI Airport - Arundel Mills
Pete Chambliss, MHLA Volunteer Staff
Diane Girgenti, Plamondon Hospitality Partners
Emily Gutierrez, Plamondon Hospitality Partners
Howard Joseph, Heartland Payment Systems
Kathy Konopik, HotelPro.
Ariana Rizzo, Ruppert Landscape, Inc.
Patty Pescrille, Ruppert Landscape, Inc.
Sheri Stall, Ruppert Landscape, Inc
Thank you to all who DONATED!
Click here to see the list of companies who donated prizes and giveaways.
MHLA welcomes new Board Members!
We are pleased to announce the addition of three new members to the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association Board of Directors.
Thank you to the following departing board members Bob Haislip, Jason Curtis, and Barbara Reed for their years of service on the MHLA Board of Directors. Their contributions and efforts have been much appreciated.
Click here to view the full MHLA Board of Directors.
GSA announces FY 2023 per diem rates
Today the GSA announced FY2023 per diem rates which take effect October 1, 2022. All rates are available at the GSA website.
The chart below shows what the new lodging per diem rates mean for Maryland hotels beginning October 2022 - September 2023.
Federal COVID cash for your business
MHLA has launched a new program that will get you the cash you need to continue to recover from the pandemic and return to full strength.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a federal COVID tax incentive that can help your business. You may qualify for up to $26,000 per employee in ERC funds, retroactive to 2020.
The ERC filing process, however, is complex and time-consuming. Many business owners lack the expertise to file, and many CPAs are unfamiliar with its eligibility requirements.
Our Easy ERCTM will help you claim this free money
The MHLA has partnered with Adesso Capital to help our members file for their ERC funds. The Adesso team has helped lodging operators across the U.S. claim an average of $125,000 in ERC funds per filing. Adesso’s tax experts can quickly estimate the amount of ERC funds for which you may be eligible.
Visit the MHLA’s ERC Support Center to get started
Once you know how much ERC money you can expect, the Adesso team will file for you with the IRS. And Adesso will monitor the progress of your filing until you receive your ERC funds.
Adesso handles the ERC paperwork, you cash the ERC check
Our Easy ERC program serves up what your hotel or lodging establishment needs to continue to work your way back to business as usual.
Visit the MHLA’s ERC Support Center now to take advantage of this program and get the cash you need to keep your recovery moving forward.
Source: Montgomery County Business Portal
This Hotel Grant Relief Program provides financial assistance to hotels and other lodging entities located in Montgomery County, MD.
Hotels and other lodging entities have been extremely hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and will have a long recovery. Montgomery County announced this relief program to continue stabilization efforts of the local hospitality industry in the County.
Grant awardees will receive $500 per sleeping room under this program.
Any hotel with ten or more sleeping rooms, or a Bed and Breakfast with five or more rooms, located in Montgomery County, are encouraged to apply.
Applications will be accepted from July 1 through July 22, 2022.
Prepare to apply
Grantees are allowed to use funds for:
The following documents will be required at the time of application:
Applications will be reviewed for eligibility based on the criteria listed above.
Applications will be accepted July 1, 2022 through July 22, 2022.
Hotel Relief Grant Program Frequently Asked Questions. If you have additional questions, please email email@example.com
The Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program and Trust, designed to create a mandate for certain private-sector employers in the state to establish a retirement savings plan for eligible employees, was passed in May 2016 and took effect July 1, 2016. The program will launch in early September 2022.
As stated in the bill's fiscal note, "Covered employers” are nongovernmental for-profit and nonprofit employers in the State that (1) pay employees through a payroll system or service; (2) have been in business for at least the last two years; and (3) do not currently offer, or have not offered in the previous two years, an employer-offered savings arrangement. Employers may elect to establish alternative savings arrangements for their employees rather than participate in the program; participation in the program does not create a fiduciary obligation of the employers who do so. Specifically, employers are not liable for an employee’s decision to participate or to opt out of the program or for their investment decisions, and they are not responsible for program design, administration, investment, or performance.
Employers may visit www.MarylandSaves.org for more information on the program. Click here to sign up for updates from Maryland's Retirement and Savings Program.
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