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HB ON THE SCENE: HDC Points to Leveling Off of Industry Growth

NASHVILLE—Smith Travel Research CEO and founder Randy Smith kicked off the fifth annual Hotel Data Conference at the Loews Vanderbilt here by illustrating just how much things have improved for the industry over the past five years as occupancy for U.S. hotels has gone from some 55% to roughly 63% and average daily rate from $99 to nearly $110.

However, the panel that followed, “Kicking off: Establishing The Industry’s Position,” indicated the recent upswing may be leveling off. For example, Adam Sacks, president, Tourism Economics, noted “evidence points to a lodging plateau.” He cited global economic headwinds and austerity as the primary reasons.

Jan Freitag, VP/Global Development, Smith Travel Research, pointed out that “RevPAR is not growing as quickly as before,” noting he expects it to be in the 4% range for this year. He added, “it seems the best is indeed behind us.” On a more positive note, however, Freitag did note that “room demand numbers are at all-time high.”

Meanwhile, in some more-optimistic news, Val Bauduin, U.S. Hospitality Leader, Deloitte, noted that hotel values are steadily rising. In fact, he noted that values are expected to rise 9.1% in 2013 and 7.4% in 2014.


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