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Have You Seen the Recovery for the U.S. Lodging Industry Yet?

Finally, I found two pieces of “positive” news this week. On January 26, Jeri Clausing reported a rebound in luxury hotel segment (Travel Weekly); Deena Beasley of Reuters suggested a slow recovery for the U.S. hotel industry. Here are some of the statistics put up by these two analysts:

· Demand of luxury hotels “increases of 5% to 8% in each of the last six months” (Clausing) --- positive.
· RevPAR is expected to decline of 1.1% by PKF and 3.2% by Smith Travel Research (RevPAR fell almost 17% in 2009; Beasley) --- still suffering, but just not as bad.
· Occupancy rate will increase from 55.1% to 55.4% according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (Beasley) --- heading to a good direction with a tiny improvement (.3%).
· Corporate accounts are still controlling their travels (Beasley) --- not that positive.
· Compared to business travel, leisure travel has fallen less severely (Beasley) --- not that positive.
· The market has a demand for “family-oriented get-together” packages and “affordable luxuries” (a package with good value/amenities) (Beasley) --- sounds like an opportunity for some segments.

I read these two articles because I wanted to report some good news, but the statistics listed above do not seem too promising to me. The good news is we are not expecting to get worse in 2010; the bad news is we will not see major improvement in 2010 either. Compared to 2008, 2009 was terrible. Because 2009 was so bad, 2010 looks just fine. Regardless the industry performance, I can feel the hope from the industry professionals that our business will be improving soon. I am not sure if everyone has seen recovery already, I guess some may have. Have you seen that in your business?

References:
Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USTRE60Q4G920100127
Travel Weekly: http://www.travelweekly.com/article3_ektid209366.aspx
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