A line has been drawn, sending a clear message of acceptance at a time of unprecedented—in-your-face—intolerance.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation CEO Mark Hoplamazian has announced the decision to ban hate groups after more than 100,000 consumers and organizations—including MoveOn, CREDO, Muslim Advocates and Shoulder to Shoulder, a coalition of 34 faith-based groups—signed a petition urging the hotel company to cancel the national conference of the country’s largest anti-Muslim hate group, ACT for America, as designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
While the conference was held as planned this past September at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Virginia, and provided the usual group discounted rates, Hoplamazian changed Hyatt’s policy toward such groups planning to meet at any of the hotel company’s nearly 800 properties worldwide in a memo to employees shortly thereafter.
“If a group is primarily focused on disparaging a group by virtue of their identity…that’s really where we need to draw the line,” he stated. “We’re going to apply our values to making these decisions along the way.” Hoplamazian also stated that groups like ACT for America represent a fraction of the hotel company’s total business.
“We’re going to apply our values to making these decisions along the way.”
While giving nod to Hyatt’s decision to ban hate groups as a “welcome one for consumers who want their hotels to be safe spaces to relax and be themselves free from hostility and discrimination,” Muslim Advocates’ Public Advocacy Director Scott Simpson also said in his organization’s own release on the subject that “Hyatt didn’t make this decision in a vacuum. … We organized, we signed petitions and we called their offices to tell them that there should be no room for hate at Hyatt.”
Hilton, Wyndham, Accor Hotels and InterContinental Hotels have all been in the news in recent months for giving the boot to hate groups in some form or another, but it’s Airbnb, once considered a nemesis to the hotel industry, that first set the tone of inclusivity last year by canceling the accounts of attendees set to attend a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Where do we go from here? Simpson says, “Now it’s up to the other major chains to decide if they want to be resorts for racists.”