In 2020, the U.S. census reported 20.6 million people identified as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander, making up 6.2% of the nation’s population. More amazing is their diversity. Census results found 21 different groups within the Asian population alone, and of the 59 languages used by the Census Bureau to publish it findings, 23 originated in Asia. That’s almost half!
With Pew Research predicting Asian Americans will become the largest immigrant group in the U.S. by 2055, there’s much to celebrate and contributions to recognize this month.
In the hospitality industry, we celebrate the contributions of Asian Americans not only in May, but every day. The tremendous impact they continue to make in the hotel sector and our economy as a whole is undeniable. Here at Visual Matrix, we especially admire their perseverance and their dedication to family and community, and we couldn’t be more proud to be a trusted partner supporting their dreams.
A Brief History
For many years, since 1978, the United States has celebrated Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week. It wasn’t until 1992, when the government declared the whole month of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
May was chosen to coincide with two important historical milestones. One was the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to our shores in May 7, 1843. The other was the pivotal contributions of Chinese workers that made the completion of the transcontinental railroad possible on May 10, 1869.
In 2021, Native Hawaiians were officially added to our month-long celebration that is today known as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Land of Opportunity
This year the theme for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity. We salute all our hoteliers and every business owner who put this theme into action by opening their doors to Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, so they can learn, develop critical skills, and excel as tomorrow’s leaders and pay it forward to the next generation.
There are many organizations that support and advance the success of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander people, businesses, and communities. AAHOA, the Asian American Hotel Owners of America, is a great example. Their 20,000 members own an impressive 60% of the hotels in the U.S. and are responsible for 1.7% of the national GDP!
One way AAHOA advocates for its members is through its 12 Points of Fair Franchising program. The 12 Points serve as best practices for the hospitality franchise system to help ensure long-term, mutually beneficial relationships between industry franchisors and franchisees.
We’re proud to stand with the AAHOA and support their essential work.
Ways to Celebrate
Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders add to the rich cultural tapestry of the U.S. and their contributions need to be acknowledged and celebrated. Here are a few things you can do:
- Help us spread the word about Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Give a shout-out on social media and encourage others to share, using hashtag #AANHPIHM.
- Learn more about Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander history in the U.S. to appreciate how far we’ve come as a nation and how far we have to go.
- Grab friends to celebrate and support local restaurants and businesses owned by Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.
- In a book club or just love to read? Get in the spirit of this special month with these selections.
- Work in an office? Share the fun together with these group ideas.
Tell Us How You’re Celebrating
If you’re a Visual Matrix customer, send us photos and stories of how you’re celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We’ll include them in an upcoming Tip Sheet!