BOSTON—The nation’s two largest hotel and lodging associations, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), announced the creation of the American Hospitality Alliance (AHA) at the International Society of Hotel Associations’ summer meeting. The American Hospitality Alliance will promote the hospitality industry at the state and local levels by harnessing the power and influence of industry leaders and directing it toward advocacy and political engagement. The strategic partnership between AAHOA, AHLA, and leading state hospitality associations will encourage pooling resources and streamlining efforts to educate lawmakers at the state and local levels.
“America’s hotel owners are proud to partner with AHLA and numerous state hospitality associations to help forge stronger connections with lawmakers and to advance innovative solutions to help hoteliers on the road to recovery,” AAHOA Interim President and CEO Ken Greene said. “The majority of hotels are small businesses. That is why the owners and operators are particularly well-suited to inform lawmakers about policies and regulations that will accelerate the industry’s resurgence. This coalition could not have come at a more important time as the hotel industry prepares to welcome back guests.”
“AHLA has long recognized the importance of state and local governments in policy issues affecting hoteliers, and it is imperative that growing our industry’s state and local presence remain a priority as we look toward the future,” AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers said. “AAHOA and our engaged state hospitality associations understand how critical a thriving hotel industry is to reviving the economy at the local and state levels, and we are proud to unite every segment of the industry around this effort.”
AHA’s advocacy efforts will focus on issues that are key to boosting the hospitality industry’s recovery as the country reopens. Hoteliers continue to be concerned with COVID-19 liability, illegal hotels masquerading as short-term rentals, drive-by lawsuits, tax reform, and workforce development. Forecasts by STR and CBRE suggest that the lodging sector will not fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic until at least 2023.
AHLA and AAHOA will co-chair AHA, and an advisory board of 17 industry representatives and staff serving one-year terms will steer the alliance’s priorities and policy initiatives.
“As an Advisory Board member, we at Aimbridge Hospitality are fully committed to furthering the American Hospitality Alliance’s mission of collectively advancing our advocacy efforts in burgeoning areas, which we view as the key to recovery and growth as the hospitality industry rebuilds,” Aimbridge Hospitality Senior Government Affairs Officer Laura Vesely said. “AHLA and AAHOA have long recognized the importance of state and local governments in policy issues affecting hoteliers, and the formation of the AHA will be an invaluable resource for hoteliers and lodging associations across the country.”
“Strengthening partnerships among state and national hospitality associations is critical to tackling the challenges America’s hotel owners and hospitality workers continue to face at the tail end of this pandemic,” Champion Hotels Vice President Harshil Patel. “COVID-19 wiped out a decade of growth in an industry that creates millions of jobs and generates billions of dollars in tax revenue for local economies. AHA’s creation is an investment in communities across the country. As governments engage with businesses to spur growth, AHA will be there to help hoteliers and lodging associations make the most out of stimulus measures and other programs designed to rebuild the economy.”