While the Asian American Hotel Owners Association seeks to stay relevant by tackling a broad range of industry issues, the group’s agenda remains squarely focused on one supreme topic: fair franchising. That was evident last week in Las Vegas as the 11,000-member association met to talk about a number of key issues—OTAs, purchasing power, education and, of course, the politics of the group—with the chief among them how to get a better shake from franchising companies, particularly the large legacy brand organizations.

In his opening session address to a crowd approaching 2,000, AAHOA Chairman C.K. Patel outlined the group’s cooperation with a coalition of franchisees in other industries to forge a universal franchisee bill of rights. The draft proposal covers many of the items AAHOA has long lobbied for in its 12 Points of Fair Franchising: good faith and fair dealing, termination and transfer rights, transparency in fees, territorial protection and more. The Coalition of Franchisee Associations, of which AAHOA is a leader, will release the full bill of rights at a forum tomorrow near Washington, DC.

In a more definitive step toward defining the franchisor-franchisee relationship, Patel also announced the launch of a groundbreaking research study to pinpoint the returns on investment franchisees can expect from specific franchise flags. AAHOA contracted with HVS to conduct the study, which Patel said will “give members another tool to help them in negotiations with franchisors.”

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