DBPR Issues Emergency Order Providing License Renewal Relief to Food and Lodging Operators

On November 22, 2022, Secretary Griffin signed DBPR Emergency Order 2022-08, bringing license renewal relief to all food and lodging operators located in the District 7 Fort Myer’s District with a license expiration date of December 1, 2022.  In summary, Emergency Order 2022-08 renews various provisions of DBPR’s previous emergency orders and extends the existing license renewal deadline for District 7 public food service and public lodging establishment licenses in the following counties from December 1, 2022 to January 20, 2023:

Charlotte

Collier

Desoto

Glades

Hardee

Hendry

Highlands

Lee

Manatee

Okeechobee

Sarasota

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News: US visitors boost Florida tourism industry

By Jim Turner, News Service of Florida

U.S. visitors continued to drive Florida’s tourism industry at a record pace, while international travel still struggled to reach pre-pandemic levels, according to newly released figures for the third quarter of 2022.

The tourism-marketing agency Visit Florida estimated Tuesday the state attracted 35.115 million travelers during the third quarter, a 6.9% increase from 2021. The estimate was also 8% above the same period of 2019, before the pandemic largely shut down the state’s crucial tourism industry.

The numbers from July 1 through Sept. 30 — the fifth consecutive quarter outpacing the corresponding quarter in 2019 — indicated the industry has mostly moved past the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Tourism is the number one industry in Florida, and it is the highest contributor to general revenue of our state. So the health of our tourism economy is directly related to the health of our economy as a whole,” Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young told TravelMole Managing Director Graham McKenzie last week while at the World Travel Market London. “Said another way, if we aren’t doing well, the economy is not going to be doing well either. And so, the more people realize that, that very important connection between tourism and prosperity, the more they are likely to realize how important the work that we do with tourism marketing is.”

The estimates did not reflect impacts from Hurricane Ian, which crashed into Southwest Florida as a Category 4 system on Sept. 28, days before the end of the quarter. But some resorts have reported layoffs as they try to recover from damage, and the hurricane could affect fourth-quarter tourism numbers.

After Ian hit, Visit Florida quickly put together a digital and social-media promotional campaign, seeded with about $2.7 million, that focused on parts of the state left unscathed by Ian.

Young didn’t discuss the Ian-related efforts with TravelMole but highlighted marketing beyond the state’s top tourism regions.

“Last year, we saw a marked increase in the number of visitors that were going to our more rural counties, so truly off the beaten path,” Young said. “In fact, in a few of our counties, we saw hotel occupancy levels increase as much as 25% year over year.”

The public-private Visit Florida is backed this year by $50 million in state money for marketing.

During the first nine months of 2022, Florida drew 104.375 million visitors, up 15.3%over the first three quarters of 2021 and 4.1% higher than at the same point in 2019, according to the Visit Florida numbers. For all of 2019, the state attracted a record 131.07 million travelers.

The state drew 97.752 million U.S. visitors during the first nine months of 2022, including 32.645 million in the third quarter. By comparison, the state drew 90.05 million U.S. visitors during the first nine months of 2019, including 29.295 million in the third quarter of that year.

The state initially focused on reviving domestic travel after the initial hit from Covid-19 in 2020. Numbers didn’t start to surpass pre-pandemic levels until the middle of 2021.

Meanwhile, Florida drew an estimated 5.002 million overseas travelers during the first three quarters of this year, down 30% from the same period in 2019. Also, Florida drew 1.62 million Canadian visitors through Sept. 30 this year, nearly 46% below the 2019 total.

Young told TravelMole she didn’t expect global inflation or the devalued British pound to further hurt the state’s efforts to attract international visitors.

“What we are seeing is that people still want to escape all of that, and they are still planning vacations,” Young said. “And by and large, they are planning vacations to Florida. So, we are not seeing an impact from the negative economic situation around the world on the people that are actually planning a trip to Florida.”

Florida got a boost in June when the Biden administration lifted a requirement that international travelers test negative for COVID-19 within a day of boarding flights to the United States. The ban was one of the last remaining government mandates designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

But the 1.931 million overseas travelers in the third quarter was off 22.8% from 2019. Also, the 539,000 Canadians who traveled to Florida during this year’s third quarter was down from 703,000 during the same period in 2019.

Palm Beach Chef & Restaurateur Frank Eucalitto Inducted into Hospitality Hall of Fame

~Café Chardonnay President Honored at FRLA Stars of the Industry Gala~

(L-R: FRLA President & CEO Carol Dover, Frank Eucalitto, FRLA 2022 Chairwoman of the Board Olivia Hoblit)

 TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) recently recognized the commitment and service of Café Chardonnay President Frank Eucalitto during its annual Stars of the Industry Gala at the Caribe Royal Resort in Orlando. During the ceremony, Eucalitto was inducted into the FRLA Hall of Fame as Restaurateur of the Year.

“Florida is known around the globe for having incomparable restaurants and dining experiences because of industry leaders like Frank Eucalitto,” said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Frank opened his first restaurant in Florida 40 years ago and has since launched a successful catering company and six more restaurants, including the acclaimed Café Chardonnay. Frank has made such an incredible impact on his local community, and he has invested so much into mentoring others in the culinary industry. We are so proud to honor Frank with this well-deserved Hall of Fame recognition!”

The Hospitality Stars of the Industry Gala pays tribute to men and women from across the Sunshine State for their remarkable work in hospitality. The Hall of Fame distinction is reserved for those who have dedicated decades to providing excellent service and leadership in hospitality.

“It is an honor to be inducted into the FRLA Hall of Fame as Restaurateur of the Year, and it has been such an amazing privilege to be a small business owner in Palm Beach Gardens,” said Frank Eucalitto, President of Café Chardonnay. “My wife Gigi and I have loved being a part of this community and feel blessed with the support we have received over the last 36 years. We could not have done this without our incredible team, and we share this award with them. We look forward to continuing to provide outstanding experiences for our entire Café Chardonnay family.”

Since 1982, Chef Frank Eucalitto has successfully created seven restaurants and an off-premises catering company in northern Palm Beach County. Under his management, Café Chardonnay and the catering company have endured for more than 35 years. Since childhood, Frank loved to cook alongside his dad. He graduated from the prestigious Johnston and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island, earning degrees in both culinary arts and hotel/restaurant management. Frank and Gigi Eucalitto opened their first restaurant, The Cobblestone Café, in Tequesta in 1982 and followed that with Café Chardonnay in 1986. Chef Eucalitto has been a respected businessman in the local Palm Beach community, owning several restaurants including No Anchovies!, Frank’s Sandbar, and Off the Vine. He was named Businessman of the Year by the local Chamber of Commerce and was a past president and is a current board member and treasurer for the Palm Beach Chapter of FRLA. Frank has been involved in numerous charitable events, was one of the organizers for the first Share our Strength “Taste of the Nation” event, and founded “Chef’s Helping Heroes” to benefit the Renewal Coalition of Jupiter.

To learn more about Frank, please watch his FRLA Hall of Fame Video here.

About FRLA: The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Founded in 1946 as the Florida Restaurant Association, FRLA merged with the Florida Hotel and Motel Association in 2006. FRLA’s more than 10,000 members include independent hoteliers and restaurateurs, household name franchises, theme parks and suppliers. The association’s mission is to protect, educate and promote Florida’s nearly $112 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.5 million employees. Dedicated to safeguarding the needs of the membership, FRLA provides legislative advocacy to ensure the voices of its members are heard and their interests are protected. The association offers regulatory compliance and food safety training through Safe Staff® and FRLA’s subsidiary, RCS Training. The FRLA Educational Foundation provides industry-developed, career-building high school programs throughout the state.

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Johnson Jackson PLLC, Shareholder Kevin Johnson Inducted into Hospitality Hall of Fame

~Local Employment Law Firm Honored for Superior Service at FRLA Stars of the Industry Gala~

 

(L-R: FRLA President & CEO Carol Dover, Kevin Johnson, FRLA 2022 Chairwoman of the Board Olivia Hoblit)

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) recently recognized the commitment and service of Tampa labor and employment law firm Johnson Jackson PLLC during its annual Stars of the Industry Gala at the Caribe Royal Resort in Orlando. During the ceremony, Johnson Jackson and shareholder Kevin Johnson were inducted into the FRLA Hall of Fame as Supplier of the Year.

“Through Kevin Johnson’s incredible leadership, he and his entire team at Johnson Jackson have provided unparalleled service to Florida’s hospitality industry for decades,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “We are so proud to induct Kevin and Johnson Jackson into the FRLA Hall of Fame and recognize their significant contributions as trusted advisors to our businesses. Through the last few years with historic unknowns due to the Pandemic, changing wage laws, and countless issues affecting workforce, Johnson Jackson has been our calm and stabilizing counsel through it all. Congratulations to our 2022 Supplier of the Year!”

The Hospitality Stars of the Industry Gala pays tribute to men and women from across the Sunshine State for their remarkable work in hospitality. The Hall of Fame distinction is reserved for those who have dedicated decades to providing excellent service and leadership in hospitality.

“On behalf of our whole team of attorneys, it is truly an honor to receive this award and work with such an outstanding organization,” said Kevin Johnson, Johnson Jackson Shareholder. “Partnering with FRLA helps us to build healthy networks within the restaurant business. Becoming intimately familiar with trends in the restaurant and lodging industry helps us better advise our hospitality clients, and providing support to hospitality employers allows us to give back to a community that has meant so much to our success.”

Kevin D. Johnson is a founding shareholder of Johnson Jackson PLLC, where he defends employers in employment-law matters. He graduated from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law in 1994. He became board certified in Labor and Employment Law by The Florida Bar in 2007. Kevin currently serves as the chair of the Standing Committee on Technology for The Florida Bar and is a past chair of both the Civil Procedure Rules Committee and the Solo and Small Firm Section. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, has been named in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, and has been listed by SuperLawyers on their list of the Top 100 attorneys in Florida for ten of the past eleven years. He is a native of Gainesville, Florida. To learn more about Kevin Johnson and Johnson Jackson, please watch his FRLA Hall of Fame Video here.

For more information about the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, please visit FRLA.org

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About FRLA: The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association providing excellent service for more than 75 years. FRLA’s more than 10,000 members include independent hoteliers and restaurateurs, household name franchises, theme parks, and suppliers. The association’s mission is to protect, educate, and promote Florida’s nearly $112 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.5 million employees. Dedicated to safeguarding the needs of the membership, FRLA provides legislative advocacy to ensure the voices of its members are heard and their interests are protected. The association offers regulatory compliance and food safety training through Safe Staff® and FRLA’s subsidiary, RCS Training. The FRLA Educational Foundation provides industry-developed, career-building high school programs throughout the state.

About Johnson Jackson: Johnson Jackson PLLC is a labor and employment law firm based in Tampa, Florida.  The firm serves clients throughout the state of Florida and across the country, providing trusted advice and strategic defense on a wide range of matters including labor and employment litigation; developing and revising policies; auditing employment practices; and advising on how to conduct internal investigations.  Clients range from large restaurant chains to independent restaurants; multi-state retail chains to construction contractors and suppliers; large hospital  systems to privately-held physicians’ offices; and statewide agencies to local governments.  Additional information can be found online at www.johnsonjackson.com, as well as on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Veteran Hospitality Leader, Local Hotelier Sheldon Suga Inducted into Hospitality Hall of Fame

~Hawks Cay VP Managing Director Honored at FRLA Stars of the Industry Gala~

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) recently recognized the commitment and service of Hawks Cay VP Managing Director Sheldon Suga during its annual Stars of the Industry Gala at the Caribe Royal Resort in Orlando. During the ceremony, Suga was inducted into the FRLA Hall of Fame as Hotelier of the Year.

“There is no one more deserving of the recognition of Hotelier of the Year than Sheldon Suga,” said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “He has devoted more than 40 years to the hospitality industry and is known for his passion, integrity, and commitment to excellence. Sheldon has made such positive and lasting impacts, and we are proud to name him into the FRLA Hall of Fame.”

The Hospitality Stars of the Industry Gala pays tribute to men and women from across the Sunshine State for their remarkable work in hospitality. The Hall of Fame distinction is reserved for those who have dedicated decades to providing excellent service and leadership in hospitality.

“I’m honored to be inducted into the FRLA Hall of Fame as the 2022 Hotelier of the Year,” said Sheldon Suga, VP Managing Director for Hawks Cay Resort. “To join my deserving peers in this recognition means so much to me and my family, and I want to thank my entire team at Hawks Cay for their hard work each and every day and their commitment to excellence. I look forward to continuing our great work to keep our resort and Florida’s hospitality industry the best in the world.”

Suga began his career as a room clerk in Niagara Falls Canada for summer employment, which led him to pursue a degree in Hospitality Management at Ryerson University in Toronto. Upon graduation, Sheldon was accepted into ITT Sheraton’s General Management Training program. During his time with ITT Sheraton, he attained the ITT Ring of Quality Worldwide Team Award and served as general manager at properties in West Harford, New York City, Halifax, La Jolla, and Los Angeles. He also worked in Tokyo and was Country Manager for ITT Sheraton. He also worked for Wyndham hotels and resorts as an area director in Atlanta and Puerto Rico. He worked in Orlando at the Gaylord Palms as the VP Hotel Manager and was the SVP and General Manager of the Gaylord National Resort. Suga currently serves as a Past Chair of the FRLA State Executive Committee, a member of the District III Advisory Committee of the Monroe County TDC, and a board member of VISIT FLORIDA. Additionally, he is on the Board of Trustees for The College of the Florida Keys. He previously served on the board of Tourism Halifax, Maryland Hotel and Motel Association and on the Maryland Tourism Development Council. An avid fly fisherman and runner, Sheldon and his wife Laura have lived in the Florida Keys for more than 13 years. To learn more about Sheldon, please watch his FRLA Hall of Fame Video here.

 

For more information about the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, please visit FRLA.org

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Activates Business Damage Assessment Survey to Gauge Impact of Hurricane Nicole on Florida Businesses

Tallahassee, FL – Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment Survey to gauge the impact of Hurricane Nicole on Florida businesses. Survey responses will assist the state in expediting recovery efforts by providing data on the needs of affected businesses.

On November 10, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 22-256, declaring a state of emergency for the entire State of Florida. All affected businesses are encouraged to complete the survey.

“Governor DeSantis has shown time and time again what prompt, effective disaster response looks like, and DEO is committed to quickly standing up resources to assist,” said DEO Secretary Dane Eagle. “The Business Damage Assessment Survey assists DEO and its federal, state, and local partners in understanding physical and economic impacts to inform decision making. I encourage businesses impacted by Hurricane Nicole to complete the survey at www.FloridaDisaster.biz.”

Results from the Business Damage Assessment Survey will be shared with various federal, state, and local agencies to implement appropriate relief. Businesses can complete the survey online or visit www.FloridaDisaster.biz and select “Hurricane Nicole” from the dropdown menu. If you need additional assistance with your business, please call 850-815-4925 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or email ESF18@EM.MyFlorida.com.

Governor DeSantis Declares State of Emergency for Subtropical Storm Nicole

FRLA is committed to bringing you the latest news and emergency updates. Today, Governor DeSantis issued Emergency Order 22-253 for Subtropical Storm Nicole, declaring a State of Emergency in 34 of Florida’s 67 counties. As of 2 pm, Atlantic Standard Time, Nicole is about 465 miles East of the Northwestern Bahamas with current wind speeds of 45 miles per hour and is moving Northwest at approximately 9 miles per hour.

A slower northwestward motion is expected later this afternoon through tonight. A turn toward the west or west-southwest is then forecast to begin by Tuesday night and that motion should continue through early Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will approach the northwestern Bahamas on Tuesday and Tuesday night, move near or over those islands on Wednesday, and approach the east coast of Florida Wednesday night. Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Nicole is forecast to be at or near hurricane intensity by Wednesday or Wednesday night while it is moving near or over the northwestern Bahamas. Winds of 40 mph extend outward up to 275 miles from the center.

Key Messages from the National Hurricane Center

1. Hurricane conditions are possible across portions of the northwestern Bahamas and southeast to east-central Florida beginning Wednesday, where a Hurricane Watch has been issued. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Tropical Storm Watch areas in Florida and Georgia beginning Wednesday.

2. A dangerous storm surge is possible across portions of the northwestern Bahamas, much of the east coast of Florida, and portions of coastal Georgia. A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for most of the east coast of Florida and portions of coastal Georgia.

3. Do not focus on the exact track of Nicole since it is expected to be a large storm with hazards extending well to the north of the center, and outside of the cone, and affect much of the Florida peninsula and portions of the southeast U.S.

4. Nicole will produce heavy rainfall by Wednesday night and Thursday across the Florida Peninsula. Flash and urban flooding will be possible across portions of the Florida Peninsula, along with river rises on portions of the St. Johns River.

For the most up-to-date information from the National Hurricane Center, click here.

Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Names Stars of the Hospitality Industry at Annual Gala

~Honored Industry Veterans Collectively Represent More Than 115 Years in Hospitality~

ORLANDO, FL – The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) announced its Stars of the Industry Hall of Fame Winners at an evening gala at the Caribe Royale Resort and Conference Center this week.

“The Hall of Fame recognition is one of FRLA’s highest honors, recognizing industry leaders for their exceptional service and outstanding hospitality that spans decades,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “These awards honor proven leaders who have left a lasting impact on Florida’s hospitality industry, and we are incredibly proud of this year’s honorees.”

The 2022 FRLA Hall of Fame winners are:

Supplier of the Year – Kevin Johnson, Founding Shareholder, Johnson Jackson PLLC

Kevin Johnson is a founding shareholder of Johnson Jackson PLLC, a top firm for employment law, and has been working with the hospitality industry for nearly three decades. The Johnson Jackson team is well-known for their trusted counsel to clients and their ability to fully understand the culture and needs of those they represent. He graduated from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law in 1994. He became board certified in Labor and Employment Law by The Florida Bar in 2007. Kevin currently serves as the chair of the Standing Committee on Technology for The Florida Bar and is a past chair of both the Civil Procedure Rules Committee and the Solo and Small Firm Section. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, has been named in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, and has been listed by SuperLawyers on their list of the Top 100 attorneys in Florida for ten of the past eleven years. He is a native of Gainesville, Florida.

Frank Eucalitto – Restaurateur of the Year, President, Café Chardonnay

Frank Eucalitto has dedicated his life to the hospitality and has been a staple of the Palm Beach County community offering the best in food for locals since 1982. Chef Eucalitto and his wife Gigi have successfully created seven restaurants and an off-premise catering company. Graduating from the prestigious Johnston and Wales in Providence, Rhode Island, he holds degrees in both culinary arts and hotel/restaurant management. Frank is a respected businessmen in the local community and created No Anchovies! during the pandemic as a successful take-out concept. He has been named Businessman of the Year by the local Chamber of Commerce, was a past president and current board member and treasurer of the FRLA Palm Beach Chapter, and has been involved in numerous charitable events – including Share our Strength “Taste of the Nation” event and “Chef’s Helping Heroes.”

 Sheldon Suga – Hotelier of the Year, VP Managing Director at Hawks Cay Resort

A recent Chairman of the FRLA Board of Directors, Sheldon Suga has served more than 50 years in the U.S. and international hospitality industry and is well-known for his integrity, passion, and commitment to excellence, as well as his outstanding leadership of teams. Sheldon graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto with a degree in Hospitality Management and was accepted into the ITT Sheraton’s General Management Training program. During his time with ITT Sheraton, he attained the ITT Ring of Quality Worldwide Team Award and served as general manager at properties in West Hartford, New York City, Halifax, La Jolla, and Los Angeles. He also worked in Tokyo and was country manager for ITT Sheraton. Sheldon has also worked for Wyndham hotels and resorts as an area director in Atlanta and Puerto Rico. He also previously worked in Orlando at the Gaylord Palms as the VP Hotel Manager and was the opening SVP and general manager of the Gaylord National Resort.  Sheldon is a member of the District III Advisory Committee of the Monroe County TDC and a board member of Visit Florida. Additionally, he is on the Board of Trustees for The College of the Florida Keys and has served on the board of Tourism Halifax, Maryland Hotel and Motel Association, and on the Maryland Tourism Development Council.

Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Announces Disaster Relief Fund Initiative in Response to Hurricane Ian

 

TALLAHASSEE – Today, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association announced the launch of the FRLA Disaster Relief Fund, an initiative to provide economic relief for Florida’s independent* restaurants and lodging establishments and their employees who are financially needy or distressed from the impact of Hurricane Ian.

“Florida is known across the globe for our unparalleled hospitality and our world class dining and lodging establishments,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “To see this industry already reeling from the economic situation in a post-COVID recovery period hit by such historic destruction from Hurricane Ian is devastating. Through the FRLA Disaster Relief Fund initiative, we will be able to provide financial support directly to our hospitality industry now and after declared emergency events that may occur in the future. Our industry is hospitality strong, and we are proud to help aid in its recovery.”

“I am proud to work through the FRLA Educational Foundation on this important disaster recovery initiative to support the relief of our hospitality industry,” said Mary Beth Hansen, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees for the FRLA Educational Foundation. “Having the appropriate infrastructure to direct financial assistance back to impacted hotels and restaurants is the best way that we can help our industry members recover and sustain the future of our workforce.”

Administered through the FRLA Educational Foundation through grants valued at up to $10,000 per independently owned restaurant or lodging location, the goal is to provide immediate financial support. *For clarity, an independent restaurant or lodging establishment is defined as a restaurant or lodging establishments owned by a corporation, limited liability partnership, general partnerships, or sole proprietorship. Franchisees of national chains are eligible, but only if the owner owns no more than three (3) franchised locations. Independent restaurant and lodging chains do qualify for this grant. Only one application is required for all multi-unit operators.

A minimum of 1/3 or 33% of the support provided must be earmarked to support employees in financial need. For owners or employees in financial need, disaster relief funds may be used for the following purposes:

  • Assistance with rent, mortgage payments, or car loan payments;
  • Assistance with school tuition and higher education costs to permit a child to attend school;
  • Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or rehabilitation of a personal residence (rented or owned); or
  • Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or replacement of the contents of a personal residence due to Hurricane Ian.

 

For more information on the Fund, including how to donate or apply, visit FRLA.org/relief.

 

Disclaimers: REGISTRATION#: CH70008, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435- 7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Since the organization does not provide any good or services in whole or partial consideration for contributions, the full amount of your donation to the Educational Foundation is tax-deductible, subject to applicable laws and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations.

About FRLA: The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Founded in 1946 as the Florida Restaurant Association, FRLA merged with the Florida Hotel and Motel Association in 2006. FRLA’s more than 10,000 members include independent hoteliers and restaurateurs, household name franchises, theme parks and suppliers. The association’s mission is to protect, educate and promote Florida’s nearly $112 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.5 million employees. Dedicated to safeguarding the needs of the membership, FRLA provides legislative advocacy to ensure the voices of its members are heard and their interests are protected. The association offers regulatory compliance and food safety training through Safe Staff® and FRLA’s subsidiary, RCS Training. The FRLA Educational Foundation provides industry-developed, career-building high school programs throughout the state.

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AHLA RELEASE: Hotel leisure travel up 14% over 2019

WASHINGTON (October 17, 2022) U.S. hotel leisure travel revenue is projected to end 2022 14% above 2019 levels, while hotel business travel revenue is expected to come within 1% of 2019 levels, according to a new analysis released today by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Kalibri Labs.

The projections are not adjusted for inflation, and real hotel revenue recovery will likely take several more years.

Post-pandemic recovery remains uneven, particularly in many major cities and destinations where business travel continues to lag. Among the top 50 U.S. markets, 80% are projected to see hotel leisure travel revenue exceed 2019 levels, but just 40% are expected reach that milestone for business travel revenue. Many urban markets, which rely heavily on business from events and group meetings, are still on the road to recovery.

Click here to view data for the top 50 markets.

The uptick in revenue is leading to historic career opportunities for hotel employees, with more than 115,000 hotel jobs currently open across the nation. Hotels are offering potential hires a host of incentives to fill vacancies—81% have increased wages, 64% are offering greater flexibility with hours, and 35% have expanded benefits, according to a September 2022 AHLA member survey.

“The hotel industry continues its march toward recovery, but we still have a way to go before we fully get there,” said AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers. “That’s why AHLA remains focused on working with members, lawmakers and stakeholders in markets that are rebounding more slowly to ensure the full return of meetings, conferences, and group travel in addition to leisure and business travel. At the same time, we are continuing to grow the industry’s talent pipeline by highlighting the unprecedented career opportunities hotels are offering. Thanks to higher wages, better benefits, and more flexibility and opportunities for advancement, there has never been a better time to work at a hotel.”

 To help hotels fill open jobs and raise awareness of the hotel industry’s 200+ career pathways, the AHLA Foundation’s “A Place to Stay” multi-channel advertising campaign is now active in 14 cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, and Tampa. For more info on the campaign, visit thehotelindustry.com.

AHLA recently completed a series of “Hospitality is Working” events in major cities across the country. The campaign has sought to increase business and leisure travel while highlighting the hotel industry’s strong commitment to investing in its workforce, protecting employees and guests, and supporting local communities.

 About AHLA

 The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. Learn more at www.ahla.com.