Heartfelt Speech Inspires Conference Attendees
TAMPA, Fla., October 19, 2012 − The Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), one of the leading forces in the hospitality industry, held its Florida regional conference in Tampa yesterday. Over 100 hotel owners from the Tampa Bay area attended the trade show, educational seminars and evening business meeting, highlighted by a passionate and emotional keynote address delivered by Dr. Kiran Patel.
As one of Tampa Bay’s most industrious, dynamic and philanthropic business leaders, Dr. Patel told the story of a father and mother who had checked in to a hotel with their young son the night before the child’s first cancer treatment. Just before bedtime, the father went down to the front desk, and asked to speak with the general manager. The clerk, eager to satisfy the hotel guest, asked if anything was wrong with the service provided by the hotel. The father said, “No, in fact, everything is fine, but I would just like to speak with the hotel manager.” When the manager came out, the father asked him if they could speak in private. The manager invited the father into his office, where the father proceeded to tell him that they had travelled a long way, and that his son was going to be starting his first chemotherapy treatment the next morning. He wanted the manager to know that his son was going to be shaving his head that night, as a representation that he was beating the cancer, before it could beat him, and that the father would also shave his own head. He let the manager know that his only hope was that the hotel staff would not be surprised, causing embarrassment to his son the next morning. Dr. Patel emotionally concluded the story, describing the lobby scene when the family arrived for breakfast, where four members of the hotel staff had also shaved their heads, in support of their guest.
Dr. Patel’s purpose was to inspire fellow hotel owners to strive for unprecedented levels of customer service and satisfaction. He emphasized the importance of maintaining the trust that families often place with hotels as their “home away from home.”
In other business, Patel tied in the national election with Florida being such a critical swing state to the Presidential electoral outcome, expressing concern about the impact of excessive regulation and taxes on the hotel industry by citing a number of regulatory burdens that hamper small business growth. He joined AAHOA Chairman Alkesh Patel and Florida Regional Director Jayesh Patel in asking local members to step up their contributions to the group’s Political Action Committee fund in order to strengthen the association’s already powerful lobbying efforts. In Florida, hotels owned by Indian-Americans make a major contribution to the economy. The Asian American Hotel Owners Association’s 643 Florida members own 1,200 hotels and pay property taxes on $7.7 billion in property, employing more than 35,000 workers with annual payroll of $600 million. Nationwide, AAHOA’s more than 11,000 members own 20,000 hotels with a combined property value of $128 billion and a $9.4 billion annual payroll.
LINK TO VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2k2OfP68jQ