Presidents of AHA and AAoA Peter Barnett and Gary Crockett

Exclusive by James Wilkinson

The AHA and AAoA have signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to join forces, bringing together the two leading associations for the first time.

The MOU was signed in Canberra last night (Sep 4) by Australian Hotels Association (AHA) President, Peter Burnett, and Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) President, Gary Crockett, and it now means there will finally be one voice for the nation’s accommodation industry.

Under the new joint venture, a new representative board will be formed, with members nominated from the two key associations.

“This is a significant day for our industry with the historic signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) bringing together the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) and Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) Boards to agree to work together on behalf of our respective members,” Burnett said.

“The industry will be far better placed to tackle the issues and represent our members if there is a common voice speaking for the industry as a whole,” he said.

The move comes following months of extensive discussions and the aim of the new combined body will be to provide “a complete advocacy body to support the accommodation industry”.

“This historic event is a culmination of many years of hard work by both associations to come together to create a single and powerful voice for the accommodation industry, and the thousands of members we collectively represent,” Crockett said.

“It is an exciting time for the accommodation sector with growth in both international and domestic travel and a significant pipeline of new hotel developments,” he said.

According to the AHA and AAoA, the key features of the JV agreement include:
-The new organisation will unite the accommodation industry under ‘one voice’;
-It will provide a powerful organisation for the industry, particularly when advocating to governments on major issues;
-The new organisation will represent all sectors within the accommodation sector for the first time, providing strength in numbers;
-The JV will be a genuine merger between two equals – AHA and AAoA; and
-The new organisation will aim to create the best possible conditions for the accommodation industry.

Burnett and Crockett said that the aim would be “to liaise with their respective membership to ensure maximum support for the joint venture, with changes to the industrial relations framework in recent years making it easier for a single organisation to represent the various sectors within the accommodation industry”.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management