The Asian American Hotel Owners Association convention brings business owners to Dallas this week who’ve all felt the same financial hit because of the global pandemic.
“So, for the past 18 months I would say definitely very difficult for us,” hotel owner Hiral Ahir said.
Ahir explains why this is so hard on their industry.
“Our industry is the one who was affected at a really large scale because it’s all tourism,” Ahir said. “Everything stopped, so no one came.”
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That’s why she and about 6,000 other attendees are glad to be here this year. It gives them a chance to share ideas and even see new technology like from Dallas-based HotelKey that can help during these safety-conscious times.
“With your check-in time being less than a minute and especially in a time when nobody really wants to stand this close for that long you are able to get them to their rooms and they're also feeling a little more secure in their stay with you,” HotelKey Director of Global Solutions Katrina Curry said.
“When COVID happened and while we are going through the pandemic people are looking at technology more because when you check-in, you can check-in at a kiosk instead of interacting with a real live person,” AAHOA Chairman Biran Patel said. “Housekeeping was the norm now it’s an opt-in, opt-out type of thing.”
The hotel industry is also facing another issue.
“This past summer business has gone up,” Patel said. “Occupancy has gone up. our goal is to fill heads in beds but you‘ve got to have workers to fill heads in beds also, it’s a tandem right?”
Despite the challenges faced so far, AAHOA members feel confident they will survive.
“Our industry is a resilient industry,” Patel said. “We’ve gone through 9/11. We’ve gone through the 2008 financial crisis. Now we’ve gone through the biggest crisis in my opinion this past 18 months. But we’re a resilient industry and we are going to get through it.”
“People are feeling normal to get out of the home and traveling and getting back to their normal life so I feel pretty confident we are getting back on track,” Ahir said.