The U.S. has seen a rash of anti-Asian violence since the pandemic began, with a study from California State University’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism finding that documented attacks on Asians rose by nearly 150% in the previous year.
Businesses across the country are condemning the Asian-targeted violence, using the hashtag #StopAsianHate in social in support of the cause. Hotel Business reached out to industry organizations and brands to get their thoughts.
“The troubling increase in violence against Asian-Americans must stop now,” said Cecil P. Staton, president/CEO of AAHOA. “Violence has no place in our society—especially when the attackers target victims because of the way they look, their culture or their heritage. As a nation and as a people, we can only reach our full potential when we treat our fellow citizens and guests with the dignity and respect that we expect from others. Ignorance and the racial hatred it breeds is a virus. Americans of all backgrounds have an obligation to call out racial hatred and discrimination when they see or hear it. In doing so, we can help educate those who do not yet understand the fundamental equality that is the foundation of our society.”
“Choice Hotels has a longstanding connection to the Asian-American community, and we deeply value the friendships and relationships that we have developed over time with the many Asian-American hoteliers who are part of the Choice family,” said Pat Pacious, president/CEO. “We condemn violence against groups who are targeted for any reason, and support the movement to #StopAsianHate.
“We will continue to seek to ensure that our community maintains a heightened sense of awareness, support and appreciation for the many contributions that Asian-Americans have made to our country, to the hotel industry, and to the communities where they live and work,” he added. “I encourage all of us to listen to each other and our team members, and talk about what’s going on in our country.”
G6’s CEO Rob Palleschi shared this statement with the company’s team members and franchise partners.
“At Motel 6 we respect, value and actively celebrate diversity. We are committed to creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and is treated equitably—from our team members to our owners to our guests.
I am writing to you today because I am deeply disturbed by the increased violence against Asian-Americans. These incidents are cruel, scary and unacceptable. At a time when the world seems more divided than ever, we must stand together with our Asian-American colleagues, guests and neighbors. We will not tolerate violence, discrimination or racism of any kind because our company is committed to keeping the light on for everyone.
To our team members on the front lines, I ask you to be vigilant and stay aware of any potential violence. Stand up for one another, and our guests, by staying true to our company values of care and respect and speaking up when you see bias or discrimination.
Now is the time to come together as a Motel 6 family to support each other and do our part to be the light in our communities.”
“In the past year, we have all felt the devastating effects of so many crises, from the pandemic to the pain of systemic racism,” said Laura Fuentes, EVP/chief human resources officer. “Sadly, another tragic example of senseless discrimination has come to light in recent weeks: a new wave of attacks against Asian-Americans. The statistics shared by our partners at DiversityInc paint a troubling picture of the hate and physical assaults this community is experiencing. At Hilton, we stand united against hate and believe there is no room in our society for racism or discrimination. Now more than ever, the world needs more empathy and hospitality.”
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has greatly compromised our feelings of safety within our homes, social circles and communities,” said Joan Bottarini, Hyatt’s CFO, who served as former executive sponsor of Hyatt’s Asian-Pacific Islanders Diversity Business Resource Group (DBRG), and from Hyatt’s Executive VP General Counsel and Secretary Margaret Egan, who serves as the new executive sponsor now, in a global colleague message. “For many members of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, the feeling of unsafety is severely heightened due to an increase in violent acts of racism. At Hyatt, people are at the heart of our business, and racism or discrimination of any kind has not and will not be tolerated. Guided by our purpose—to care for people so they can be their best—we are deeply committed to leading with inclusivity and creating a safe environment where all people feel accepted and welcome. If we have learned anything from the past year, it is that we are dependent on one another and each of us can be impacted by the actions of others. Raising awareness of this issue is vital, and together we can support our Asian and Pacific Islander colleagues, guests, neighbors and friends through meaningful action.”
IHG Hotels & Resorts
“The recent violence and vile threats against Asian-Americans are absolutely unacceptable—we fully condemn these actions and stand with the Asian-American community,” according to a company spokesperson. “IHG Hotels & Resorts is built around a commitment to inclusivity and a culture that respects the diversity of colleagues who work with us and guests who stay with us. Hate has no place in our hotels, or our communities, and we work every day to deliver ‘True Hospitality for Good’ around the world.”
Marriott’s CEO Tony Capuano released the following statement:
“During this past year, we’ve seen a fracturing in American society on so many issues—disagreements on politics, the approach to managing the pandemic and even how far citizens should be allowed to go to challenge our very democracy. It’s been a painful chapter in our history.
As we know, this discord isn’t just aimed at politics and policies—it also has taken root in some very personal attacks. Since the pandemic began, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in verbal harassment, physical assaults, hate speech, mistreatment and violence against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in this country.
It must stop now. Racism and bigotry cannot be tolerated.
It breaks my heart to read about volunteers having to escort elderly Asian men and women through their own communities in response to the assaults and even murders of Asian individuals in their 80s and 90s for no reason other than their race.
We’re better than this as a nation—or at least we should be. It is our differences that make us a beautiful mosaic as a country. Without a doubt, our destinies are intertwined and together we must solve this.
Marriott is standing against racism.
I want to reiterate that Marriott International stands against racism. We believe that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respected for their humanity and the distinct qualities that make them unique.
If you visit our more than 7,600 hotels around the world, you will see a common thread—all are welcome. That value must also be true in the U.S.—a nation of unrivaled diversity. That means people of every race, including Asians, can thrive at Marriott as associates, guests and owners. We value the immense contributions of Asian-Americans to our country and our company.
Welcoming all is more than just a slogan at Marriott—we actually teach and nurture this principle. We do this in a number of ways, through internal resources available to our associates that promote respect and kindness, and training designed to inspire a sense of community and combat unconscious bias. We host ‘culture days’ that help our hotel associates appreciate the significance and traditions of events like Lunar New Year, an Indian wedding or a quinceañera celebration.
We want guests at our hotels to feel at home—that’s good business, but more importantly, it’s at the heart of true hospitality. When you host someone in your home, don’t you take time to make sure they feel welcome—with the food and beverage you offer, where you seat them at your table, how you anticipate what they will need?
At Marriott, our hotels are our home. When you come to visit—whoever you are, wherever you are from, and whatever you look like—we want you to feel welcome. It’s that simple.
As the U.S. faces this latest racism crisis, we are redoubling our welcome all efforts—making sure our associates remember what it is we stand for and offering resources to them to make sure they are doing their part. We are also working with our long-time partner, the Asia Society, a leading educational advocacy and cultural understanding organization for Asian-Americans, to support their efforts to build solidarity and rise up against hate. We will continue our efforts to advance hotel ownership among Asian American owners.
It was less than a year ago, in the aftermath of the tragic death of George Floyd, that we were talking about eradicating racism against Black Americans. The fight continues, as does our fight against all forms of racism and prejudice.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, a country divided against itself cannot stand.
We must bond together—corporations, civil rights and social justice organizations, elected officials and ordinary people. Hand in hand, we can make real change and stop hate.”
Radisson Hotel Group
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on incredible challenges we could have never anticipated, and it’s unacceptable that ‘hate’ has worsened so many of our nation’s problems,” said Jim Alderman, CEO, Americas. “The bigotry and violence so many people in our Asian-American and Pacific Islander community are facing during the pandemic is unacceptable, and Radisson Hotel Group stands in full support of the #StopAsianHate movement. The Asian-American community is an integral part of our Radisson Hotel Group family, and we’re proud to partner with incredible organizations like AAHOA, which has played a key role in supporting a phenomenal group of Asian-American hoteliers since 1989. This is an issue close to my heart, and it is our priority as a company to build a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.”
“Red Roof stands in support of the Asian-American and Pacific Islanders community in response to the disturbing and senseless rise in violence against them,” said George Limbert, interim president of Red Roof. “Together with our franchise partners, Red Roof has a zero-tolerance stance on discrimination of any kind. Injustice and hatred have no place in our society, and only serve to further divide us at a time when all Americans have been tested. Red Roof, and hospitality as a whole, are stronger when embracing a culture of acceptance. Hospitality cannot coexist with hatred.”