AAHOA leadership, which represents the largest hotel owners association in the world with nearly 20,000 members, recently met with leaders John Kelly, Board Chairman; Larry Cuculic, President and Chief Executive Officer; Danny Lafayette, Board Vice-Chairman; Phil Payne, Board Secretary-Treasurer; Mike Merchant, Board Director; Ishwar Naran, Board Director; Viral (Victor) Patel, Board Director; and Stephen Wahrlich, Board Director, from Best Western® Hotels & Resorts, a global brand leader with a portfolio of 19 brands, and approximately 4,500 hotels across all chain scale segments.
The focus of the meeting was on the two organizations’ longtime partnership, AAHOA’s work related to the 12 Points of Fair Franchising, and ways in which they can continue to work together to progress the industry forward.
“Best Western Hotels & Resorts has been a longtime partner of AAHOA – a span of time that includes more than three decades – and we always welcome the opportunity to continue the dialogue for the betterment and prosperity of the entire industry,” said AAHOA Chairman Nishant (Neal) Patel. “Our recent meeting underscores how open communication, collaboration, and partnership are key to maintaining a fruitful relationship that benefits both organizations and, ultimately, the industry as a whole.”
“We commend the leadership of Best Western Hotels & Resorts for the manner in which they operate as a membership organization, along with their continued commitment to AAHOA Members and their willingness to engage in constructive dialogue regarding AAHOA’s 12 Points of Fair Franchising as an educational tool,” said AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake. “The leadership of Best Western Hotels & Resorts practices what they preach. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the company gave $65M back to its members, and during this time did not lose one owner for financial reasons. They are now returning another $15M to their members in 2022. We applaud them for making decisions that exhibit fairness at the highest levels, and we are proud to recognize them as true partners for the betterment of the entire industry,” she said.
During the meeting, AAHOA also highlighted several of its recent initiatives involving key issues in the industry, including legislative issues at the Federal and State levels, AAHOA’s newly launched women hoteliers’ HerOwnership initiative and event, how AAHOA is further supporting the next generation of hotel owners via upcoming Young Professional initiatives, and much more.
AAHOA is the largest hotel owners association in the nation, with Member-owned properties representing a significant part of the U.S. economy. AAHOA’s 20,000 members own 60% of the hotels in the United States and are responsible for 1.7% of the nation’s GDP. More than one million employees work at AAHOA member-owned hotels, earning $47 billion annually, and member-owned hotels support 4.2 million U.S. jobs across all sectors of the hospitality industry. AAHOA’s mission is to advance and protect the business interests of hotel owners through advocacy, industry leadership, professional development, member benefits, and community engagement.