Atlanta, GA. May 4, 2010 - On behalf of the more than 10,000 members of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), who own 20,000 hotels across the United States and employ 570,000 American workers with a $9 billion payroll, we fully support the Arizona travel industry and call for fair immigration laws to protect all citizens of the great State of Arizona.
Our AAHOA members in Arizona own forty percent (40%) of the 1,100 lodging properties in the State. They employ tens of thousands of legal Arizona residents of all races and ethnicities, support thousands of travel-related jobs, and pay millions of dollars in taxes each year to support the State’s economy. AAHOA strongly supports Arizona’s tourism industry, and urges all business and leisure travelers to visit the State to not only enjoy the many attractions and strong business opportunities, but more importantly, to show their support for those who work in the lodging industry.
In 2009, Arizona hosted more than 37 million domestic and international visitors, who spent approximately $18.5 billion and generated an estimated $1.4 billion in local and State tax revenues. A boycott of Arizona in response to the State’s recently enacted immigration legislation (S.B.1070) will deprive local hotels, restaurants, businesses and attractions of much needed revenue during this current economic crisis.
“A boycott of Arizona will harm the lodging industry and the employees who depend on traveling guests for their next paychecks, but it will not solve any immigration problems,” said AAHOA Chairman Tarun S. Patel. “Instead of canceling plans to visit Arizona, we are urging all opponents of S.B. 1070 to seek solutions through the legislative and legal process. This will have a long-term impact on the immigration laws overall, and will not harm the hotel owners and their employees who are striving to provide excellent services to the traveling public in Arizona.”
“As a resident of Arizona and a hotelier myself, it is clear that we need fair immigration laws that will protect the rights of all citizens, including those who have legally immigrated to the United States,” said AAHOA Former Chairman (2008-09) Ash Patel. “I am encouraged that on Friday, Governor Brewer signed a follow-on bill approved by Arizona legislators that make revisions to S.B. 1070. She stated that racial profiling is illegal and will not be tolerated in Arizona. We support these statements.”
“We ask everyone to continue to visit Arizona, and to support our industry that provides jobs, essential tax revenue and a unique quality of life,” said AAHOA President Fred Schwartz. “We are reaching out to influential elected officials in Arizona at the Federal and State levels to voice our concerns, and offer our strong support for Arizona’s travel industry. We will continue to do all we can to protect the best interests of our members, our employees and our guests in Arizona.”
Tarun S. Patel, CHA CK Patel Hemant Patel Alkesh Patel Ashwin Patel Fred Schwartz
Chairman V. Chairman Treasurer Secretary Past Chairman, 2008 President
The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (“AAHOA”) is THE voice of owners in the hospitality industry. Founded in 1989, AAHOA is now one of the fastest-growing organizations in the industry, with more than 10,000 members owning 20,000 hotels that total $128 billion in property value. The AAHOA Officers include Chairman Tarun S. Patel, CHA; Vice Chairman ChandraKant “C.K.” Patel, CHO; Treasurer Hemant “Henry” Patel; Secretary Alkesh “Al” Patel, CHO; and President Fred Schwartz. The Officers work closely with a 33-member Board of Directors to provide direction for the association. AAHOA is dedicated to promoting and protecting the interests of its members by inspiring excellence through programs and initiatives in advocacy, industry leadership, professional development, member benefits, and community involvement.