HM on Location: Marriott returns to AAHOA

ORLANDO — In a dramatic turnaround from two years ago, Marriott International has resumed its relationship with AAHOA. Liam Brown, group president at Marriott International, took to the stage at the association’s annual conference in Orlando to greet the attendees.

Brown expressed his gratitude to the AAHOA board for inviting him to the event. “It is an absolute honor to be here as a friend of this wonderful community,” he told the crowd. “I have many friends in this community whose advice and wisdom and friendship I value immensely. … As someone who's always valued the importance of community and collaboration, I'm genuinely happy to have the opportunity to engage with you all.” 

This year marks both the 35th anniversary of AAHOA and of Brown’s tenure with Marriott. Thanking the crowd for AAHOA’s support of Marriott, he said the relationship between the association and the company has been “mutually beneficial.” Brown noted that he was the first Marriott executive to address AAHOA from the main stage at the association’s 2007 conference in San Antonio. 

While acknowledging differences between members and between AAHOA and the hotel brands, Brown emphasized that hospitality professionals “have far more in common than we have in conflict.” The “shared values and aspirations,” he said, “provide a solid foundation for us to continue working together towards our mutual goals.”

While Brown did not address Marriott’s 2022 departure from AAHOA or what was behind the company’s return, he called for improved communication between the association and hospitality businesses. “We should be focused on ensuring the long-term success of this industry that has given all of us so much—and we do that by talking to one another and engaging.”