Hotel Occupancies, Rates Expecting to Go Up
Increasing demand, lagging new construction and an economic recovery that should pick up for the second half of the year bodes well for hotels and means travelers will face slightly fuller hotels and modest price increases, according to consulting company PwC.
According to Macroeconomic Advisors, the economic growth that slowed somewhat for the first part of year should gain traction in the second half of the year. That, combined with still-subdued hotel development, means U.S. hotel occupancy should average 59.8% this year; rates should increase 3.7% this year and 5.5% in 2012. (Source: PwC press release).
Some Markets See Major Occupancy Increases
Among the top 25 hotel markets in the U.S., five are seeing year-over-year hotel occupancy increases in the double digits. Houston is up 14.8 % to 65.1%; Nashville is up 11.2% to 65.4%; Norfolk – Virginia Beach is up 10.8%to 59.2%; Orlando is up 10.8% to 76.4% and Minneapolis-St. Paul is up 10% to 64.1%, according to the hotel consulting company STR. (Source: STR press release).
Easter, World Events Cause Temporary Lull for Business Travel
The double-digit growth that business travel had seen earlier this year slowed in April, due primarily to the Easter holiday and world events. These included the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand and simmering tensions in North Africa and the Middle East.
But Pegasus Solutions, the world’s biggest processor of hotel transactions, calls this just a temporary slowdown. “The fundamentals driving corporate travel recovery – overall economies, corporate earnings, business trips and meetings-conference travel are improving and increasing, while pent-up consumer demand and slow room supply growth portend a better summer travel season than last year´s,” said Mike Kistner, CEO of Pegasus. (Source: Pegasus press release).
Smartphones and handheld devicesSmartphones and similar handhelds have become so integral to their users’ lives that more than 60 percent of mobile workers sleep with their smartphone, according to a the quarterly Mobile Workforce Report produced by iPass, which provides enterprise mobility services. Ninety-one percent of mobile workers check their smartphones even during off hours, 30 percent check them every six to 12 minutes, even when they’re technically off duty. All of this takes its toll.
- The average mobile worker works 240 hours a year longer than the general population
- Thirty-eight percent of mobile workers wake up at night to check their smartphone
- Thirty-five percent check email in the morning before getting dressed or eating breakfast.
- Twenty-nine percent report that their mobile technology use causes friction with their spouse or partner.