iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
Florida hotelier Bharat Patel has been appointed as the new Chairman of Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) Board of Directors. Patel took over as the chairman at the conclusion of the 2023 AAHOA Convention & Trade Show in Los Angeles, California on April 14.
The event registered a record level of booth sales for the Trade Show, making it the largest in AAHOA history. “I am honored to serve America’s hotel owners as the newest AAHOA Chairman,” Patel said. “Like the theme from AAHOACON23, I look forward to honoring the past and creating a bolder future by working with AAHOA’s nearly 20,000 Members to ensure we reestablish strong partnerships with our state associations, grow the AAHOA PAC to new record levels, and make advocacy front and center to AAHOA’s mission and vision.”
AAHOA is the largest hotel owners’ association in the US, with member-owned properties representing a significant part of the U.S. economy. AAHOA’s 20,000 members own 60% of the hotels in the US and are responsible for 1.7% of the nation’s GDP. More than one million employees work at AAHOA member-owned hotels, earning $47 billion annually, and member-owned hotels support 4.2 million U.S. jobs across all sectors of the hospitality industry. AAHOA’s mission is to advance and protect the business interests of hotel owners through advocacy, industry leadership, professional development, member benefits, and community engagement.
Patel has been an active member of AAHOA since 2008. He served as an ambassador for several years before his election to the Board of Directors as the Regional Director for Florida in 2015. Bharat is a second-generation hotelier who learned the hotel business through hands-on experience at properties owned by his parents. Today, he is a partner at Gulf Coast Hospitality, a company based in Sarasota, Fla.
“From a young age, I wanted to make a difference, which is why I wanted to join AAHOA,” Patel said. “AAHOA Leadership meets with legislators at the highest levels of government, and we’re doing so while simultaneously showing the industry, and beyond, that representation matters.”
Bharat plays an active role in his community and previously served on the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Board of Directors, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Hotel and Restaurant Advisory Council, the Sarasota County Tourism Development Council, and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Advisory Board.
“Congratulations to Bharat Patel on becoming AAHOA’s newest Chairman,” said AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake. “Working alongside you as Vice Chairman over the past year has been a pleasure, and I am looking forward to all that you will accomplish in the year ahead.”
Patel is a graduate of the University of Florida and resides in Sarasota with his wife, Manisha, and their two children. “My main focus is all about AAHOA priorities, strategic planning, and laying the path for the future of AAHOA,” Patel said. “We will continue to create educational and networking opportunities for the next generation, create new revenue streams for AAHOA, new sponsorship opportunities, and focus on how AAHOA can provide more value for our members and loyal industry partners for years to come.”