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Hotel association: Full guide on hospitality associations

  Posted in Resources  Last updated 28/03/2024

What is a hotel association?

A hotel association is a collective organisation that represents the interests and serves the needs of hotels and lodging businesses within a specific region, country, or on an international level.

They provide a unified voice for their members, advocating for their rights, and offering a range of services designed to support hoteliers in their operations, such as advocacy, networking, education, marketing and promotion, resources and support, and creating, maintaining and licensing around quality standards.

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Why is a hospitality association important?

Hospitality associations play a crucial role in the success and sustainability of the hospitality industry. While many sectors have their own associations – industry groups, worker unions, lobbying collectives, and similar – the hospitality industry is unique in how fundamental being a part of and playing an active role in an association can be.

The industry is enormously diverse and in a constant state of flux, and hotel associations offer community, camaraderie, advisory, networking opportunities, collaboration and co-marketing, not to mention strategic insights and upskilling. Put simply, being part of a hotel association means that you never have to go it alone as a hotelier, and always have a community to fall back on in times of challenge, as well as the opportunity to give others a helping hand when they’re in need.

Here’s the detail on why hotel associations are important:

1. Unified advocacy

Hotel associations serve as a powerful collective voice, advocating for policies and regulations that nurture a favourable environment for the hospitality sector. By representing the interests of a diverse range of businesses, they ensure that the industry’s concerns are addressed at various governmental levels, fostering a landscape where hospitality can thrive.

2. Professional growth

Hospitality associations are instrumental in continuous professional development. Through a variety of educational programs and training sessions, they empower industry professionals to enhance their skills, keeping pace with evolving market demands and technological advancements.

3. Networking and knowledge sharing

They provide invaluable forums for industry peers to connect, exchange ideas, and share best practices. This collaborative environment fosters innovation and strategic partnerships, crucial for staying competitive in a dynamic market.

4. Resource hub

Membership often grants access to an array of resources, including cutting-edge research, legal guidance, and marketing insights. These tools are vital for informed decision-making and strategic planning, ultimately driving operational excellence.

5. Quality and standards

By establishing and maintaining industry standards, these associations ensure a consistent level of service excellence. This commitment to quality not only enhances guest satisfaction but also upholds the industry’s reputation, building trust among consumers.

6. Crisis support

In challenging times, hospitality associations provide critical support and coordination, offering guidance and advocating for relief measures to support affected businesses, demonstrating the strength and resilience of the industry community.

7. Promotional efforts

Many associations actively market their regions or segments, boosting visibility and attracting tourism and investment, which in turn benefits all members.

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Hotel owners associations

As a hotel owner, you’re part of the juggernaut that is the hospitality industry – so take advantage of this broader network by accessing the support that comes with it. Depending on your location, there are various hospitality associations that you can consider joining.

Australia hotel associations

Accommodation Association

Representing major hotel groups in Australia, the Accommodation Association of Australia (AAOA) provides essential services and creates connections with industry and government leaders to increase economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Australian Hotels Association

Representing more than 5,000 members across Australia, its aim is to “ensure a national legislative, social, economic and commercial environment” that secures the ongoing viability and profitability of Australian hotels and ensures they continue to add value to Australian culture and society.

Tourism Accommodation Australia

Focussing on “the needs and interests of the substantial operators of Australia’s accommodation industry” and providing leadership through “advocacy, industrial relations and legal support, intelligence, research, education and networking.”

Image representing hotel associations

United Kingdom hotel association


Describes itself as the “powerhouse that advocates and protects the commercial interests” of its members, “campaigning and lobbying on their behalf to promote a fair and favourable operating environment for their business to thrive in.”

North East Hotels Association

Bristol Hoteliers Association and other regional associations. Aiming to promote and protect hotel businesses within certain areas.

Europe hotel association


The “umbrella Association of Hotels, Restaurants, Bars and Cafes and similar establishments in Europe, which brings together 47 National associations in 36 countries.” Aims to be the voice of European hospitality and unlock its potential.

American hotel association

While there are many state-level and city-level hotel associations in the United States, there are two primary names that come up when asking “what is THE American hotel and lodging association to join?”:

American Hotel & Lodging Association

The largest hotel association in the US, described as an “indispensable resource serving, supporting and advocating on behalf of the American hospitality industry.”

American Hospitality Alliance

Harnesses the power of industry leaders toward more effective advocacy in an effort to promote and defend the hospitality industry at state and local levels.

Canada hotel association

Hotel Association of Canada

The leading hotel industry association in Canada, with a mission to “enhance the prosperity of the Canadian Hotel and Lodging industry through strong member engagement, effective advocacy, and the provision of valued programs and services.”

British Columbia Hotel Association

Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association and other regional associations. Helping to build and promote the industry by region.

National hotel association

International Hotel & Restaurant Association

A non-profit international trade association that promotes and defends the interests of the hotel and restaurant industry worldwide.

International Luxury Hotel Association

A trade organisation to help luxury hoteliers grow their business.

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

Representing the hospitality industry in taking collective responsibility to “ensure destinations and communities are being supported and protected now and for future generations.”

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of SiteMinder, the leading technology provider delivering hoteliers unbeatable revenue results. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at SiteMinder. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance and value for accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations achieve their goals.

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