Cecil P. Staton
AAHOA President & CEO
Entering into the new year, AAHOA is formalizing plans to elevate the voice of America’s hoteliers as we work to get the travel and tourism industry back on track. We continue to be guided by our commitment to serve AAHOA Members with outstanding educational programming, industry leading events, and targeted advocacy across all levels of government.
The success in shifting AAHOA’s programming to virtual platforms in 2020 is thanks to the extraordinary commitment and flexibility of the members of our community, from our hotel owners to vendor partners to AAHOA volunteers. Since March of 2020, AAHOA has called upon our members to guide our pandemic response with insight and ingenuity, and many hoteliers rose to the challenge in exceptional ways. With the incoming Biden administration and 117th Congress, AAHOA will again call upon our members to be a resource and advocate for the hotel industry.
Washington, D.C. will welcome a mix of new and familiar lawmakers in the coming weeks. The Democratic party now controls the executive branch with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris moving into the White House. While the party will maintain a majority in the House of Representatives, the control of the Senate ultimately depends on the outcome of the two Senate runoff elections in Georgia, which will be decided on Jan. 5, 2021. AAHOA will keep a close eye on the outcome of our home state’s election as we work to elevate our standing with elected officials in Congress and the White House.
Engagement can influence positive change in the political process. As a nonpartisan association, we have worked to support and communicate with politicians to advance policies and regulations that will help small businesses outlast and recover from the effects of the pandemic. AAHOA and our members have engaged in this process before the election, and we are committed to remaining steadfast in our advocacy work in the months and years to come. AAHOA’s government affairs team will continue to keep our members informed and engaged on legislative issues relevant to hotel owners.
The rotating door of politics does not undermine our prior work, but rather provides us an opportunity to expand our efforts and form new relationships in the pursuit for comprehensive legislation to help our industry recover. AAHOA is the most prominent voice of America’s hoteliers. We will call upon our membership as we have in the past to engage, advocate, and educate our elected officials. At AAHOA, we will always lift each other up.