< PrevNext > Chip Rogers, American Hotel & Lodging Association President and CEO Cleanliness Uniter By Donna M. Airoldi / December 10, 2020 / Contact Reporter Share Right after Covid-19 was named a pandemic in mid-March, it became clear to Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, that the most important issue AHLA could work on was hotel safety and cleanliness. In May, AHLA introduced its Safe Stay guidelines, which have been adopted by every major U.S. hotel company and thousands of individual hotels, Rogers told BTN. "Given what consumers are concerned with ... I think it was very beneficial from an early stage to have the industry unite behind a single message," he said."That is where we knew the skill set of AHLA would come in handy in bringing the industry together," Rogers said. "But getting the traveling public to know about it is the most important thing, and I think we've done well there."AHLA has updated the guidelines as the pandemic has evolved and will continue to do so based on the recommendations of public health authorities and to remain in compliance with any federal, state and local laws. The association also introduced a Safe Stay training course for hotels in early July, and by mid-July added a checklist for hotel guests.Heading into 2021, AHLA aims to make sure Safe Stay is the adopted standard for local and state governments that are looking to regulate private industry. "The worst thing we can have happen is a local government come up with their own standards not adopted by the industry, not been approved by the proper medical experts," Rogers added.And he will continue to lobby for more aid for the industry, which at press time was trying to attach additional Paycheck Protection Program funding to the legislation for a continuing federal budget resolution. "If they pass a continuing resolution without PPP on it, then I think you are looking for another major package not happening until February," Rogers said. "Between now and then, you could have hundreds if not thousands of hotels close their doors for good. And that is just devastating."