ATLANTA, Ga., Jun. 21 – Leaders of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), which represents 20,000 hoteliers of primarily Indian descent, will be in Washington this week to attend events in support of strengthening the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi marks his first official state visit.
AAHOA Chairman Bharat Patel, Vice Chairman Miraj Patel, Treasurer Kamalesh (KP) Patel, Secretary Rahul Patel, and Immediate Past Chair Neal Patel will attend the welcome ceremony at the White House South Lawn on Thursday morning.
Later that day, the four current AAHOA Officers will be guests at Modi’s historic joint address to Congress.
“The hotel industry has long provided thousands of first- and second-generation immigrants from India an opportunity to achieve the American dream of entrepreneurship,” said AAHOA Chairman Bharat Patel. “The Biden Administration’s goals of strengthening ties with the world’s most populous country and largest democracy will ultimately help advance American interests around the globe. As the largest hotel owners association in the nation, we are at the forefront of cultural and business ties between the United States and India. We recognize the importance of these relationships on both a personal and a global level.”
AAHOA previously urged congressional leaders to invite the leader of the world’s largest democracy to address the House and Senate during the state visit. In a letter to Speaker Kevin McCarthy on May 25, AAHOA Chairman Bharat Patel and AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake noted that AAHOA’s Members own 60% of U.S. hotels and are responsible for 1.7% of the nation’s GDP.
“Such a gesture would once again display the strong bilateral relationship our two nations share,” they wrote.
Additionally, a delegation of AAHOA Members joined top Indian dignitaries and leaders earlier this year for a series of business meetings in an effort to foster a mutually beneficial relationship between the United States and India.