New Government Per Diem Rates Announced
In a significant shift, and thanks to advocacy efforts from ALHA and VRLTA, today, the General Services Administration (GSA) released the FY2021 per diem rates for government travel in the Continental United States (CONUS) which reflect pre-COVID-19 rates. The move to hold per diem rates is a big victory for the hospitality industry.
The FY2021 CONUS per diem rate is $151:
This is the same as FY20 and 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.
The AHLA and VRLTA actively engaged with the GSA, and sounded the alarm about the negative impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on hotel occupancy, rates and government travel and the further impact the pandemic would have on FY21 per diem rates. The team also worked with a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders to send multiple letters to the GSA and supported the introduction of legislation that would freeze FY21 and FY22 rates at FY20 levels. We want to specifically thank Congressmen Crist (D-FL) and Posey (R-FL) for their leadership on this issue.
Because of our efforts, GSA has adjusted the FY21 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) to not negatively depress FY21 rates due to COVID-19.
Government travel is incredibly important to the hotel industry, supporting 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 own travel standards. It is critical that GSA established reasonable rates for FY21 that adjust for the devastating impact of the pandemic, especially at a time when the industry is fighting for survival.