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Where is the Hotel Industry Headed in 2011?

An Interview with AH&LA Incoming Chairman John R. Campbell

December 15, 2010

The BP oil spill put the entire Gulf region hotel and tourism industry the test. What were some of the biggest lessons the industry can learn from that experience?

Have a plan in the ready and implement it quickly! As often as we have heard this before (Californians are constantly being reminded to be ready for an earthquake) many of us do not have an emergency plan that is up to date and ready to use. If you do, congratulations! Be ready for an immediate response working with your local media and government entities, ask for help and get your message out as often as you can. AH&LA was ready to assist with the local associations and gives them a lot of credit for the hard work they put in to recovery.

Do you think the industry's recovery is moving faster or slower than the overall economy? What will be some of the biggest challenges the industry will face in 2011?

Our industry is a "first-in, last-out" player in the economic cycle. We clearly see signs of demand for rooms increasing so rate confidence usually follows quickly. Many hotels postponed renovations so any improvements that can be made will be recognized by the customer. Our biggest challenge will remain finding, developing and keeping great future employees who will make this industry a career. We can provide anyone the opportunity to succeed to their own desired level of accomplishment.

What are your key goals in leading AH&LA in 2011?

The key goal for me in 2011 is to keep promoting AH&LA's voice as representing the entire industry. Our association helps every vested industry member with communication, education and leadership in government affairs. We support a very diverse group of schools and universities who educate future employees, allied members who provide our products, your employees with certification tools and owners who provide our businesses. Members and nonmembers look to us for leadership and guidance; we are here to support you. If you know of a local hotel that has not yet joined our organization encourage them to do so, it is in everyone's best interest to be united under the one voice of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Serving the hospitality industry for a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.


Kathryn Potter 

Also See: The AH&LA 2010 Lodging Survey Identifies Key Trends in Amenities, Facilities, Programs / September 2010

AH&LA Green Assessment Survey: The Top 10 Green Things Hotels Are Doing Well, The Top 10 Green Things Hotels Can Improve On / May 2008

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