Thousands of Hoteliers Converge on National Harbor for 2018 AAHOA Convention


NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Mar. 27 – Thousands of hotel owners from across the United States met just outside the nation’s capital  for the opening of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association’s 2018 convention. AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the country.

AAHOA expected a record-breaking attendance of more than 6,700 hoteliers, trade show exhibitors and
industry partners from across the country, which would exceed the attendance record set at the association’s
2017 conference in San Antonio, Tx.

Citing the record number of convention-goers and surging membership numbers, Bhavesh Patel, a New
Jersey hotelier and AAHOA Chairman, said AAHOA continues to take a leading role in the industry.
“Every major hotel brand is represented at our convention,” said Patel. “With nearly 18,000 members
who own almost one in every two hotels in the United States, AAHOA is the voice of America’s hotel

Wednesday, March 28, marked the opening of the convention’s general session with the first series of CEO
talks in which some of the hospitality industry’s top CEOs shared their insights into the industry, and
how to achieve excellence in business and in life. Jimmy Johnson, Hall of Fame football coach and
broadcaster, was the day’s keynote speaker.

Speakers include Administrator Linda McMahon of the Small Business Administration, Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke, Manoj Bhargava, CEO, 5-Hour Energy, Olympic champion Sanya Richards Doss, and entrepreneur Michael Hyatt.

The trade show, one of the largest in the industry, featured more than 400 booths and 600 vendors.
Continuing its commitment to professional development, AAHOA also hosted educational sessions on
Human Trafficking Recognition and Prevention, its Certified Hotel Owners program (CHO), and
Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA).

“Providing our members with industry-leading educational opportunities is part of our founding mission,”
said AAHOA President and CEO Chip Rogers. “Over the past year, AAHOA forged an industry-first
partnership with the DHS Blue Campaign, Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), and
Polaris to educate hoteliers about how to identify and prevent human trafficking. We are excited to offer
BEST certification to help our members make the front desk the front line in combatting human
trafficking. Additional professional development programs like CHO and the CHIA program will give
our members the resources they need to succeed and continue to grow their businesses.”


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