AAHOA, Choice in standoff

The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) has threatened to end its relationship with Choice Hotels International as part of a dispute over franchise issues.

In a letter to Stewart Bainum, chairman of Choice Hotels International, AAHOA highlights “unfair business practices by Choice.” These include Choice’s Impact Policy, which the association asserts has unworkable mandates and does little to nothing to protect franchisees, and disputes with the Choice Hotels Owners Council over the association’s lack of involvement on the council board.

The letter from AAHOA states,”this means that AAHOA would not accept any membership, sponsorship or related funds from Choice, and would not invite or authorize your Choice representatives to appear on any panels, exhibit at our trade shows, or otherwise have access to our AAHOA members.”

The letter requests a meeting within 90 days with Steve Joyce, president and CEO of Choice. In response, Choice has promised to continue to work with AAHOA to sort out the differences.

“Choice Hotels has had a long standing relationship with AAHOA and was one of the organizations founding members. We have worked with AAHOA over the years though different leadership and changing economic environments with the same goal of maintaining a fruitful relationship with the organization.  In many cases, we have been able to work with AAHOA on specific issues and come to mutually beneficial agreements. We have a responsibility to our franchisees and guests to make sure that we are always doing the right thing for our business. We appreciate and respect AAHOAs as a business organization, it is our hope that we will be able to work out the current issues through our leadership and continue to work together in the future without public debate,” Joyce said in a statement.