AH&LA LAS – Hot topics

The annual legislative action summit LAS of the AH&LA is on with essentially two issues occupying the agenda, the perennial one of immigration reform and a labor bill promoted by democrats that replaces secret balloting with a card check process. Notably absent is any mention of the notoriously inefficient visitor visa process that continues to crimp growth in international arrivals. To be sure, the numbers are going up in absolute terms but the US is steadily losing market share to countries around the world. From conversations with representatives from around the world at ITB last week, it was evident that the notion of fortress USA is alive and well among foreigners with many not bothering with the visa process which for some countries can run into weeks. That this is not a new problem can be seen from viewing this link from 2004. Clearly a case of perception matching with reality.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.