ATLANTA, Ga., Jun. 7 – The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), which represents 20,000 hoteliers of primarily Indian descent, applauded U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other congressional leaders over their invitation to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address Congress during his visit to the nation’s capital later this month.
Last week, McCarthy, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell formally extended the invitation to Modi. “We look forward to paving the way for greater collaboration between our countries in the years to come,” they wrote.
AAHOA had urged congressional leaders to invite the leader of the world’s largest democracy to address the House and Senate.
“The hotel industry is a vital part of the U.S. economy and a ladder of opportunity for thousands of first- and second-generation immigrants, particularly from India,” said AAHOA Chairman Bharat Patel. “As the most populous country in the world and the crossroads of the Indo-Pacific region, India is a critical player on the world stage and an important U.S. ally. As members of the Indian diaspora, we look forward to welcoming Prime Minister Modi to the United States and to strengthening the relationship between our countries.”
In a letter to McCarthy last month, AAHOA Chairman Bharat Patel and AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake encouraged the House Speaker to invite Modi to address both houses of Congress. According to congressional records, 128 foreign leaders have addressed the legislative body, including Modi in 2016.
“Inviting Prime Minister Modi to speak during a joint session of Congress will further strengthen the relationship between our two nations by offering a venue to provide constructive dialogue on ways the United States and India can cooperate on key issues,” they wrote.
Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to visit the United States June 21-23 in his first official state visit since becoming Prime Minister in 2014. He will be the third head of state whom President Biden has invited on an official state visit. Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will host Modi at the White House, which will include a state dinner, on June 22.
In their letter to Speaker McCarthy, Patel and Blake noted that AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the United States, with Member-owned properties representing 60% of U.S. hotels, responsible for 1.7% of the nation’s GDP.
Earlier this year, a delegation of AAHOA Members joined top Indian dignitaries and leaders for a series of business meetings in an effort to create a mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and India