About Us

The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(6) trade association that represents the lodging industry in Illinois. IHLA members consist of over 500 hotels and their employees throughout the state as well as related industry partners and suppliers. IHLA provides significant benefits to its members by:

Advocating the Industry's Position on Political Issues

IHLA works to ensure that their members are protected in both Springfield and Washington, D.C. by speaking as one strong voice on issues concerning the welfare and profitability of the hospitality industry. With full-time lobbying efforts, IHLA protects the hotel industry and keeps hospitality businesses in the forefront. Whether the issue is state tourism funding, taxes, safety, or any other concern, IHLA is there for their members.

IHLA funds the Illinois Hotel & Motel Political Action Committee (IHMPAC), providing financial support and political activism to members of the Illinois General Assembly and other elected officials supportive of the hotel and tourism industry.


IHLA is dedicated to providing continuing education for their member employees through quality, relevant seminars and webinars, allowing them to flourish in their careers. IHLA’s various networking opportunities allow hospitality professionals to learn from one another and grow in their field.

Educational Foundation
The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Foundation (IHLAEF) is the not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) educational arm of IHLA. Incorporated in 1992, IHLAEF has been a primary source of scholarship assistance for deserving Illinois college students pursuing hospitality management degrees throughout the country, awarding over $550,000 since its inception. The Foundation focuses on three major initiatives: Scholarships, Educational Programming, and High School to Career Curriculum & Workforce Development.

Providing Industry Information & Promoting Members
IHLA members receive promotional exposure and access to current industry news, resources, and contacts through IHLA’s website, monthly newsletter, eblasts, member programs, and networking events.

Exclusive IHLA Networking Events 

  • Lobby Day
  • Hospitality Gala
  • Hospitality Awards Luncheon at the NRA Show
  • Pony Up for the Kids
  • Golf Classic
  • Stars of the Industry Regional Luncheons
  • State Stars of the Industry & Membership Holiday Luncheon
  • Bi-monthly Council of Hotel General Managers Breakfast Meetings
  • Hospitality Young Professionals Networking Events
  • Illinois Women in Lodging Networking Events
  • Educational Foundation Seminars
  • And more!

Illinois Women in Lodging (I-WIL)
The Illinois Women in Lodging (I-WIL) Chapter gives female hospitality professionals throughout Illinois access to high powered women who empower other women. I-WIL provides an opportunity for women to connect with top professionals, gain career momentum, and enhance their personal and professional development.  I-WIL is focused on removing barriers and providing solutions, fostering the development of women to obtain leadership competencies that contribute to the achievement of overall career growth, and engaging women in the political process as it relates to the hospitality industry. 

Hospitality Young Professionals (HYP) 
IHLA's Hospitality Young Professionals (HYP, formerly Under 30 Gateway) program addresses the personal and professional needs of young hospitality professionals passionate about their careers and our industry. Benefits and resources are inspired by the American Hotel & Lodging Association Under 30 Council. Through events, resources, and networking, HYP members build strategic relationships, get top-level industry insight, and stand out from the crowd.

Recognizing Hotel Employees

Employee recognition and retention are invaluable elements to the success of hotels. IHLA's Stars of the Industry Awards Program was established in 1996 to honor IHLA member hotel employees for their outstanding accomplishments, service, and leadership in the hospitality and lodging industry. Illinois has thousands of exceptional hotel and lodging employees who help our visitors enjoy their stay, and the Stars Program recognizes the best of the best, those who truly go above and beyond and whose incredible hard work, dedication, attentiveness, and genuine kindness towards both guests and fellow colleagues is an inspiration to their peers.


American Hotel & Lodging Association Partnership

As its Partner State Association, IHLA works closely with the American Hotel& Lodging Association (AHLA). Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, AHLA is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.9 million employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $176 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.

AHLA is partnered with state associations across the country to provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members. IHLA and AHLA work together to serve the best interest of their members and the hotel industry as a whole.

For more information about the American Hotel & Lodging Association, visit AHLA.com