Posted 9/5/2012 - 3:23:54 PM
NASHVILLE—The fourth annual Hotel Data Conference kicked off at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel here with cautious optimism for continued improvement in the U.S. lodging industry, despite some troubling signs in the overall economy.
In the event’s opening session, Adam Sacks, managing director of Tourism Economics, noted the “global and U.S. economies are in a state of slowdown.” He added 2012 GDP growth in the U.S. is expected to be roughly 2.2% followed by a decline to some 2% growth in 2013. However, Sacks noted some reasons for cautious optimism included strong cash positions; signs of life in the housing market; the historically low price of money; progress in the labor markets; and competitive positioning.
Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman and global leader of Travel, Hospitality & Leisure, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, noted his firm expects business travel to taper off as there are “less people forecast to travel in the back half” of this year.
Jan Freitag, SVP/Smith Travel Research, stated that in the first seven months of 2012 some 638 million rooms were sold, which is “more than ever.” He noted July also was a record month for room sales. He added, however, that as of July, the average daily rate for U.S. hotels was $104, still down from the $108 recorded in September of 2008.
Freitag summed up saying “demand growth is off the charts, while supply growth is nonexistent” and that “RevPAR growth is going to be rate driven.”