by SEAN GROSSNICKLE
AAHOA and American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), the preeminent national hotel and lodging associations, announced the launch of the American Hospitality Alliance (AHA) in late June at the International Society of Hotel Association’s meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. The vision for AHA was years in the making and built on the expertise, resources, and long-standing partnerships AAHOA and AHLA maintain with state lodging associations. The AHA will strategically focus on advancing policies and political relationships vital to hoteliers at the state and local levels. As the hospitality industry recovers from the pandemic’s devastating effects, the AHA will engage with legislators to advocate for policies that address the slate of issues pressing hoteliers today, from COVID-19 economic recovery to drive-by lawsuits.
The AHA was established to elevate all facets of the hospitality industry at the state and local levels. Building on AAHOA, AHLA, and leading state hospitality associations’ expertise, resources, and connections, the AHA will proactively identify key issues and bring together industry members, legislators, and lobbyists to advance critical policies in areas of importance around the country.
The AHA has already engaged in multiple advocacy areas across the country. With 10 years of industry growth stunted by the pandemic, economic recovery and the ongoing labor shortage are two of the topline issues. In the AHA’s launch announcement, the Alliance notes “COVID-19 liability, relief, and recovery, illegal short-term rentals, drive-by lawsuits, tax reform, and workforce” as the principal topics for engagement.
AHA was designed to pivot quickly and efficiently to address state and local issues important to the industry. In an interview published by Hotel Management’s Jena Tesse Fox, Ken Greene, AAHOA Interim President & CEO, outlined the Alliance’s strategy to confront new issues that may arise in two to three years. “The idea is to accelerate the advocacy efforts that we’ve all been doing [but maybe were doing]in a fragmented way and not necessarily always in a coordinated way. We can start to accelerate, getting positive change to happen,” Greene said.*
AAHOA and AHLA are co-chairs of the AHA with Ken Greene of AAHOA and Chip Rogers of AHLA steering the Alliance Advisory Board. Seventeen industry representatives and staff from AAHOA and AHLA are serving one-year terms on the advisory board and will direct the Alliance’s policy priorities and initiatives with input from the Alliance’s membership. More than 40 state and local lodging associations have joined the AHA since it launched. For more information, visit the AHA’s official website at www.AmericanHospitalityAlliance.com. ■
* Fox, Jena Tesse. (2021, June 28). AHLA, AAHOA partner to create new advocacy alliance. Hotel Management. https://www.hotelmanagement.net/operate/ahla-aahoa-partner-create-new-advocacy-alliance.