Happy New Year! Wow, it’s 2019. I was just talking with family the other day about the turn of the millennium—and the associated Y2K panic—and how, at that time, 2020 seemed so very far away. Like really far. And now, it’s already almost here. But let me not rush ahead, and rather, remain present (one of my New Year’s resolutions)!
I hope it’s been a good start to 2019, both personally and professionally, for you. I know for the hotel industry, it has been. Not great, but good, as our analysts tell Managing Editor Nicole Carlino in our comprehensive 2019 U.S. Hotel Industry Outlook, which kicks off this issue. January of a new year is always the month that encourages us to step back, assess and create an action plan for the year ahead, as well as forecast what that year is going to deliver so that we can be proactive, not just reactive, to the landscape in front of us.
And CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research’s Mark Woodworth and Robert Mandelbaum, STR’s Bobby Bowers and Lodging Econometrics’ J.P. Ford do just that, weighing in on what hoteliers can expect this year in terms of industry fundamentals and performance. This powerhouse trio of market intelligence firms breaks it down by chain scale—luxury, upper-upscale, upscale, upper-midscale, midscale and economy—and provides stats on occupancy, ADR, RevPAR, and supply and demand in each of the segments.
While at the base level, the experts agree that 2019, right now, is like hitting the replay button on 2018 in terms of overall economic health and growth, they assert that there are some red flags ahead that could detour the positive vibes. You’re certainly not a stranger to the hot-button topics: rising interest rates, potentially paralyzing tariffs and trade wars—check out our page-28 cover story, by the way, on the impact of tariffs on the hotel industry—as well as a strain on construction materials due to what seems to be an uptick in natural disasters, such as the devastating California wildfires. Pepper in some political instability and global concerns—think Brexit—mix it together, and we could have the recipe for brewing trouble. Stay tuned…
In the meantime—as I’m not one to borrow trouble—I’m encouraging you to stay present-minded as well. Know that the short-term run into that not-so-far-away 2020, at least, is projected to be just fine, yielding good results—good growth and good profits—in our industry. Potential concerns always loom and we’re wise to keep an eye on them, to address them, to talk about them—which we will at ALIS. And to prepare for them, but always to remain optimistic.