Decision levels playing field between Wyoming hoteliers and online competitors.

Washington, D.C. – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, applauds today’s ruling by the Wyoming Supreme Court that online travel companies (OTCs) should remit sales and lodging tax on the full booking price of hotel rooms and issued the following statement:

“For many years, hotels across the country have been at a competitive disadvantage with their out-of-state competitors due to the lack of a system in place to provide tax parity, essentially subjecting them to a higher effective tax rate,” said AH&LA President/CEO Katherine Lugar. “Today’s ruling by the Wyoming Supreme Court corrects this and ensures that the state’s hoteliers and OTCs operate on a level playing field, and that both remit sales and lodging taxes on the same retail rate. We are pleased that this decision ensures Wyoming hoteliers can now operate with the assurance they will not pay higher sales and lodging tax rates than the OTCs.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Wyoming lodging industry is responsible for 11,378 jobs and $332 million in wages. As of July 2013, there were 392 lodging properties across the state, comprised of 26,381 rooms. Smith Travel Research (STR) reports that total tax revenue generated by the state’s lodging industry in 2012 was $119.8 million.

Nationally, the lodging industry supports 1.8 million jobs at 52,529 properties comprised of 4.9 million rooms.