AAHOA Chairman (2017-2018)
The hospitality industry, and the businesses we live our lives to build, maintain and prosper, is anchored on one critical keystone: people.
As hoteliers, our livelihood depends on taking care of people, and ensuring that whether they’re changing sheets or sleeping on them – they feel inspired, valued and motivated to come back. As leaders, we are charged with moving those people forward, advancing the industry through research, innovation and technology.
Thousands of hospitality industry professionals from across the globe will gather in Washington, D.C., at the 2018 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show to learn, discuss, take and apply. The vast amount of knowledge and resources available under one roof cannot be overstated, and I encourage everyone who was unable to attend this year to make it out to San Diego in April 2019 to take advantage of the opportunities the show has to offer.
Informed leaders are more effective leaders. AAHOA makes continuing education and networking with thousands of industry experts an easy task. Hundreds of educational webinars, workshops, certification and training courses are available online 24/7, not to mention discounted access to other industry events.
Understanding what’s happening in our local markets is especially important. U.S. resident and international travel generates more than $2.3 trillion annually; more than 8.6 million jobs are directly supported by what we do every day. Changes in the political landscape at the federal and state level, up and down swings in the economy, and the influence of various disruptors could mean the difference between opening a new hotel or closing an old one. Either way, the community at large is affected.
AAHOA members own more than half of all hotels in America. As such, we have a vital role to play in giving voice to the concerns that impact not just our businesses, but our livelihoods, and those of our children, our neighbors, our colleagues and our employees.
In 2017, with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we made massive strides in the right direction. Using that same momentum, the association must continue its efforts to pursue legislative and regulatory changes that support small businesses in America. Already, we’ve made progress toward ending drive-by lawsuits with House passage of H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017.
We continue to build up strong relationships with state and local lawmakers and lodging associations so we can more closely affect issues closer to home as well, like fighting hotel tax increases and advancing a level playing field with short-term rentals.
Hoteliers play an essential role in their local communities – by providing accommodations for travelers, gathering space for programs and activities, and employment for residents. Achieving through hard work, sheer will, and tireless effort is a hallmark of the type of individuals who join AAHOA. I am proud of what we have accomplished this past year, and rest assured that, standing together, we will accomplish so much more for this generation and those to come.