Hotel convention brings 6,000 visitors to Dallas at pandemic’s biggest event


The Asian American Hotel Owners Association will host 6,000 attendees for its annual convention on Tuesday night, the largest business gathering in Dallas since the COVID-19 pandemic began 17 months ago.

The four-day event will be held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and could be a boon to local restaurants and hotels in downtown Dallas. The Dallas-area hotel industry was still in recessionary conditions at the start of the summer as business travel nears a standstill due to the ongoing pandemic, according to a recent American Hotel report. and Lodging Association.

AAHOA represents nearly 20,000 hoteliers. Its members own nearly one in two hotels in the United States, according to the organization.

Attendees will attend sessions on how to recruit and retain talent, how to navigate COVID-19 relief and other hot topics in the hotel and accommodation space. The association is also hosting what it describes as a block party on Texas Live! in Arlington Wednesday night.

Governor Greg Abbott is expected to address the conference on Wednesday, according to AAHOA. The last time the Georgia-based association met was in 2019, when the San Diego Convention Center welcomed nearly 9,000 attendees, including exhibitors.

Hotel owners across the country descend on Dallas for their first annual meeting in two years as Dallas County experiences wave of COVID-19 that has officials considering again declaring a serious threat. The county continues to recommend that individuals wear masks and avoid medium to large gatherings, regardless of their immunization status.

And employers who wanted to get workers back into the office soon are once again struggling with uncertainty as the delta variant continues to spread.

In a statement, Acting President and CEO Ken Greene said the association is confident the event can take place safely.

“We are closely following all CDC guidelines and will keep all attendees informed of any changes to our security protocols,” said Greene, pointing to the area convention center and hotel. STAR Global Biohazard Advisory Council accreditation as the reason Dallas was ready to welcome the association responsibly.

The organization has implemented security measures, including mandatory masks in public spaces, according to at the AAHOA. He enlarged the lounge to allow greater distance and placed hand sanitizer stations around the convention center space. The AAHOA will also sanitize the rooms between conference sessions and sanitize the trade showroom overnight.

Thousands of attendees will be staying at hotels in the Central Business District, including the Omni, Hyatt Regency, Westin, Magnolia and Indigo hotels where the organization offers group rates to its members.

City of Dallas tourism arm VisitDallas worked to bring the convention to the city, according to AAHOA spokesperson Melissa Stern.

“On behalf of our Mayor, City Council and our entire city, I want to welcome and thank you for choosing Dallas for your event,” said Craig Davis, CEO of VisitDallas, in a statement. video shared recording on the event registration site.

The city of Dallas has been trying to restart in-person events for nearly a year as COVID-19 cases rise and fall. In October, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center hosted the Mecum Auto auction and 2,000 masked attendees. And a month ago, CPAC hosted approximately 4,000 curators for an event at the Hilton Anatole.


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