AAHOA Strikes Back

Hats off to the Asian American Hotel Owners Association for the threat to sever its relationship with Choice Hotels International because of Choice’s persistent, self-defeating anti-franchisee positions. Choice has consistently failed to recognize that their franchisees are the heart and soul of their business.

  It’s no surprise to me that AAHOA finally blew the whistle and said “No More”.

It is time for Choice to reverse its wrong-headed march of folly; time to fully implement the AAHOA 12 Points of Fair Franchising; time to support the Universal Franchisee Bill of Rights; and time to realize that fair franchising is not an oxymoron.

AAHOA members have taken it on the chin for years.  Finally they are telling Choice to behave like real partners.  I believe that Choice cannot last as a successful hotel franchising entity if AAHOA members do not renew expiring license agreements and do not sign new ones. 

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Comments

Is a war brewing between franchisors and franchisees?

I disagree with Stan on whether Choice will ultimately buckle under to AAHOA, as franchise companies did in the early 1990s, when faced with similar pressure. Times are different, and AAHOA members don't necessarily look to the organization to make their branding decisions. I wrote about this in the current issue of Lodging Hospitality: http://tinyurl.com/3q5atzs

Ed Watkins, Editor, Lodging Hospitality

I disagree with Ed

Although Steve Joyce thinks Choice has the clout of Marriott, it clearly does not. Rather, Choice is a stepping stone brand for many hotel investors. These investors are cautious with their hotel brand selection and will often take the advice of a trade association, which they are a member of, and whom they would trust over a franchisor that receives its revenue from the terms of the contract.

Vantage has thrived because they have a fairer franchise agreement that is more attractive to the same pool of hotel investor's that would invest in a Choice brand. Brand selection is a function of competent due diligence.

Likewise, the larger franchise hoteliers are sophisticated enough to smell the differences and are more likely to select a brand that they believe will protect the value of their investments. Choice is simply not at that point today. Hence, Choice will experience sub-par renewals if they do not clean-up their act and address AAHOA's recomendation for change.