AAHOA Interim President & CEO
For more than three decades, AAHOA has been committed to ensuring hoteliers can create their own success. As the association’s effectiveness in organizing hoteliers knocked down institutional barriers to hotel ownership and changed the landscape of the industry, AAHOA evolved to meet its members’ needs. AAHOA’s mission is to advance and protect the business interests of hotel owners through advocacy, industry leadership, professional development, member benefits, and community engagement. Succinctly put, AAHOA strives to help all America’s hoteliers make money, save money, and protect their investments.
AAHOA’s advocacy initiatives are focused on empowering hoteliers to engage with their elected officials and share their stories in their own voice. There is nothing more powerful than constituents making their voices heard on issues that affect their livelihood and their community. In 2019, hoteliers and AAHOA’s professional staff met with hundreds of lawmakers throughout the country to advocate on behalf of hotelier interests. At events such as the Spring National Advocacy Conference and the Legislative Action Summit, hoteliers urged lawmakers to fund Brand USA, an important tourism program that promotes the entire United States, not just the big cities, as a destination for international travelers. AAHOA also advocated for proper regulation of STRs at the federal and state level. This fall, AAHOA threw its support behind the PLAN Act, a bill that empowers local governments to hold STR platforms accountable by closing a loophole that allows the platforms and illegal hotels to effectively ignore regulations. You can read more about these two issues in the Government Affairs and Common Ground features in this month’s issue.
Political engagement is not just limited to the halls of power. Elections have consequences, and if hoteliers do not support candidates for public office that support pro-growth policies, the entire industry risks bad laws and regulations being put on the books. That’s why AAHOA PAC is such an important tool for our association. The PAC allows hoteliers to support individuals that will work to help our industry and the broader economy continue to grow by making government more efficient by repealing burdensome regulations and allowing hoteliers to reinvest more of their tax savings into growing their businesses, creating new jobs, and building new properties.
During the past few years, AAHOA took the lead in the fight against human trafficking in the hospitality industry. With the creation of AAHOA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Training (HTAT), a free online training available 24/7 through MyAAHOA.com, thousands of hoteliers and their employees now have the knowledge to identify and respond to potential trafficking situations. Not only does this valuable training save lives, it also protects guests, employees, and hoteliers’ reputations.
AAHOA’s anti-trafficking initiatives are not just an indication of our industry leadership. HTAT is also part of our extensive library of professional development resources available through the AAHOA HOTEL OWNERS ACADEMY™. AAHOA’s initial educational offering of a course in multi property management evolved into a vast online archive of webinars, trainings, and education sessions that are available at the click of a button with an average of two new offerings every week. Hoteliers can enhance their understanding of key issues affecting our industry on their own time and track their progress through MyAAHOA.com.
In 2019, AAHOA hosted more than 200 events across the country. From the industry-leading Convention and Trade Show and Regional Conferences, to Town Halls and Development Days, the association is committed to bringing together hoteliers, brands, and vendors. AAHOA works with our partners to bring you exclusive deals and discounts and to provide you access not just at our Convention and Regional Conferences but all year through.
This year marked AAHOA’s 30th anniversary. An organization born of fighting on behalf of Asian American hoteliers grew into an association that fights on behalf of all America’s hoteliers. In three decades, AAHOA became the largest group of hotel owners in the world, and we are only growing stronger. I am excited for our future and to see how AAHOA will grow as we continue to help hoteliers make money, save money, protect their investments, and discover the opportunities to create their own success.