HFTP rejects AHLA’s merger offer

The global finance and technology association said a MOU would be more suitable

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The Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, which will host HITEC Dubai on May 24 to 26 and HITEC Orlando on June 27 to 30, rejected an unsolicited offer by the American Hotel and Lodging Association to merge the two organizations. Instead, the board offered to enter into a memorandum of understanding with AHLA.

ON MONDAY THE Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals association politely declined an offer by the American Hotel and Lodging Association to merge the two organizations. Instead, HFTP’s board of directors offered to enter into a memorandum of understanding with AHLA similar to agreements it has with other associations, such as AAHOA.

HFTP said in a statement that, as a global organization “with members from the entire hospitality spectrum” it would not benefit those members to merge with a localized association such as AHLA. Instead, it suggested the MOU in keeping with HFTP’s agreements with AAHOA, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association, Hotel Asset Managers Association — Middle East, Hotel Controllers and Accountants Association of Hong Kong, National Club Association and the Association of Private Club Directors.

“As a former director of AHLA, I know they do good work for the industry and their recent takeovers of HTNG and HAMA will definitely help these smaller associations,” said Frank Wolfe, HFTP’s CEO. “But HFTP is a global association with global brands: HITEC, PineappleSearch.com, the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry and global certifications/certificates, not to mention our members from non-hotel segments. Our mission is education not advocacy.”

HFTP will host HITEC Dubai on May 24 to 26 and HITEC Orlando on June 27 to 30. Plans for HITEC Europe will be announced in June and HFTP, along with its partner dmg events, are in the due diligence stage for HITEC India in 2024. Two other major projects that will be completed this year will be the publication of a global Club Accounts Dictionary with KPIs and the release of the 12th revised edition of the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry, currently being developed in conjunction with AHLA and some of its members.

“HFTP is and wants to be a good corporate association partner,” said Michael Levie, HFTP global immediate past president and partner and COO of citizenM Hotels. “At the end of the day, we all are ambassadors in hospitality and with close cooperation we achieve the most.”

A spokeswoman for AHLA said the organization had no comment on HFTP’s decision.

In March, during the Hunter Hotel Conference in Atlanta, AHLA’s charity wing, the AHLA Foundation, announced its merger with the Castell Project to strengthen and accelerate the industry’s commitment to elevate women in hospitality. Castell Project is a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of women to the highest levels within the hospitality industry.

Last year, AHLA and AAHOA formed the American Hospitality Alliance to advocate for hotels on state and national levels. The purpose of the alliance is to pool resources and streamline efforts, the associations said, and it also will work with state hotel associations.