4 out of 5 hotels in Texas are owned by Asian Americans, new study finds

Asian American-owned hotels account for 89% of all hotel properties in Texas, or nearly half a million hotel rooms, according to a new report from Oxford Economics and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

The study found that 60% of all American hotels are owned by Asian Americans and generate sales of $ 680 billion annually nationwide.

“That’s more than Walmart’s worldwide turnover,” said Aran Ryan, director of tourism economics at Oxford Economics.

The study, which began two years ago, draws pre-pandemic data from thousands of AAHOA member hotels. First shared at the association’s annual convention held in Dallas, it reveals the extent of the association’s influence in the Texas hospitality and entertainment industry.

A full survey of Asian American-owned hotel properties and their economic impact has not been completed for at least a decade, according to the AAHOA, which was founded in 1989 to help Asian Americans. to combat discriminatory business and lending practices.

AAHOA Interim President and CEO Ken Greene said he was shocked at the economic impact of his fellow hoteliers in Texas and Arkansas, where ownership as a percentage of total hotel properties was also high.

Asian American Hotel Owners Association Interim President and CEO Ken Greene speaks at their convention in Dallas on Wednesday.(Brandon Wade / Special Contributor)

“Some of the men and women who own a lot of hotels today work at the front desk. They were doing housework. They did maintenance in the hotels. And really when you think about it, this is absolutely the American Dream, ”Greene said.

The association hopes the results will foster a better understanding of its impact on American jobs and society at large, as well as strengthen its influence with policymakers at the local and federal levels as it advocates for its members.

The association is currently pushing Congress to pass the Save Hotel Jobs law, which would allow hotel owners to apply for wage spending subsidies. The AAHOA sees the lack of business travel and the difficulty in finding workers as the main obstacles to the recovery, according to President Biran Patel.

“Business trips have to come back. Until that comes back, we haven’t come out of the woods, ”Patel said.

Attendees walk through a vendor's HVAC systems at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association convention in Dallas.
Attendees walk through a vendor’s HVAC systems at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association convention in Dallas.(Brandon Wade / Special Contributor)

Many hotel markets in the United States, Dallas included, were still in recessionary conditions at the start of the summer, and the American Hotel and Lodging Association does not anticipate a full recovery in the industry until at least 2023.

Many laid-off hotel workers have taken on jobs in other fields since the pandemic began, and hotel owners feel left out of the workforce as companies like Amazon and Chipotle raise wages.

“Hourly rates in some markets are $ 20 to $ 22. It is not sustainable. You do that, and your margins as a hotelier – and for any service company – it gets reduced to the point where it’s hard to make a profit, ”Greene said.

The AAHOA convention held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center welcomed 6,000 attendees, making it the largest gathering of businesses in downtown Dallas in at least 17 months since the start of the pandemic.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott spoke to the Hotel Owners Association and reiterated his promise that there will be no more pandemic-related warrants in the future and that vaccines are available for people who want it.

Patel described Abbott’s leadership during the pandemic as “above average.”

“We want elected officials who are pro-business,” Patel said. “And since the day the pandemic started, [Abbott] and his team have sailed it pretty well compared to other states across the country and have helped small businesses. We opened up before states like California and some others. “

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