United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross appointed Virginia hotelier and Vice Chair of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Vinay Patel to a two-year term on the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
The Asian American Hotel Owners Association is the largest hotel owners organization in the world, and an overwhelming majority of the members are Indian Americans.
The organization’s 20,000 members own almost one in every two hotels in the U.S. with billions of dollars in property assets and hundreds of thousands of employees, a press release from AAHOA said.
The U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board provides advice and counsel to the Secretary on issues and concerns that impact the nation’s travel and tourism industry.
The Secretary appoints up to thirty-two members to the Board representing companies and organizations in the travel and tourism industry from a broad range of products and services, company sizes and regions.
“Travel and tourism will play a vital role in jumpstarting our economy as our nation begins its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. I am honored to serve on the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board during this critical time for our country and our industry,” Vinay Patel is quoted saying in the press release.
In addition to his role as AAHOA Vice Chair, Patel is the president of Fairbrook Hotels, which owns and operates eleven properties, including Marriott, IHG, Hilton, Radisson, Choice, and Wyndham brands. Patel serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Hospitality and Tourism Association and is the president of the Herndon Hospitality Association. Previously, he served on the boards of directors of AHLA and the Loudoun (VA) Convention Visitors Bureau.
Predictably, the hotel industry felt the impact of COVID-19 from the onset of the pandemic. “The catastrophic declines in occupancy rates and revenues make it increasingly likely that the industry will not recover until 2023,” noted AAHOA President & CEO Cecil P. Staton.
The hotel owners organization noted that its members are “core economic contributors in virtually every community.”
“AAHOA applauds Vinay’s appointment to the Board. His experience and insight are a valuable addition to discussions about the role travel and tourism will play during the recovery and beyond,” Staton said.