Industry Advocacy Group to Promote Human Trafficking Prevention Compliance Training
DES MOINES, Iowa – A group of Iowa hospitality leaders announced the formation of the Iowa Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA). The newly incorporated non-profit trade association officially launched January 20, 2022. The group is actively building membership and has started to engage in initiatives which fulfill its mission to protect, promote, educate and advocate on behalf of the states 700+ hotels and lodging establishments.
In fact, data from the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the national partner of the newly formed IHLA, estimates that Iowa’s hotels lost nearly 10,000 jobs and $420 million in room revenue alone. Nearly 2,000 pre-pandemic hotel jobs have yet to return, showing a 9% decline in industry employment in the state.
In addition to working towards recovery-friendly legislation and a better state regulatory environment for hotel & lodging operations, the new group is taking a visible role in key issues impacting the industry. In fact, the IHLA Board last week joined with state agencies and other business organizations in the Capitol Rotunda in support of Governor Kim Reynolds as she reaffirmed Iowa’s dedication to fighting human trafficking by signing a proclamation declaring January to be “Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.”
The IHLA’s first educational outreach will focus on helping Iowa’s hotel and lodging establishments become compliant with a new law that took effect Jan. 1, 2022 which requires training of all employees on how to spot and report human trafficking crimes. Establishments must be in compliance in order to host and receive payment for state employee overnight stays or for state meetings held on property.
The IHLA is an independent trade association managed by the Iowa Restaurant Association. Jessica Dunker, President and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association is serving as the President and CEO of the Iowa Hotel and Lodging Association for the present time.
The IHLA’s forming Board of Directors includes; Board Chairman, Paul Rottenberg of Orchestrate Hospitality in Des Moines; Vice Chair, Ravi Patel of Hawkeye Hotels in Coralville; and Director, Greg Edwards of Catch Des Moines.