The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has increased the per diem reimbursement rates for the fiscal year 2024. Effective October 1, 2023 to September 23, 2024, the continental United States (CONUS) maximum lodging allowance rates in some existing per diem localities will be raised to $107 from $98.
The new rates will see 302 locations receiving a maximum lodging allowance higher than the standard rate, GSA said in a statement.
Meals and incidental expenses per diem tiers for FY 2024 remain unchanged at $59-$79, with the standard M&IE rate remaining fixed at $59.
The per diem allowance is paid to federal employees for their lodging, meals and incidental expenses incurred for official government travel.
The maximum lodging allowance is based on historical ADR data, less than 5%. The pandemic, however, resulted in unprecedented declines in ADR and an uncertain recovery of the hotel industry.
The ADR data available to establish FY 2024 rates was from before the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency expired on May 11, GSA said and used data from the trailing April through March. Like the procedure used for FY 2023, GSA made upward adjustments to ensure maximum lodging allowances for federal travelers were sufficient in the next fiscal year.
Reacting to GSA’s announcement, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) said the $9 increase in the lodging rate was a “positive step” for hoteliers in the country, as government travel supports billions in travel spending. Many private-sector organizations also base travel reimbursements on federal per diem rates, Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO, said in a statement.
“The per diem rates GSA announced today come after months of hard work AHLA put in to lobby the administration on behalf of hoteliers nationwide. We thank GSA for working to ensure hotels are fairly compensated for the excellent services they provide government travelers year in and year out. We will continue to work with GSA and advocate for lodging and meal rate increases that reflect market conditions,” Rogers said.
Each year, AHLA works with the GSA to ensure that per diem rates “are fair to both hoteliers and the government.”