Positive Signs for Business Travel

Sandos Hotel

Report Sees Brighter Outlook for U.S. Hotels
A mid-December PKF Hospitality Research report says that the pace of recovery for U.S. hotels has accelerated. PKF’s Hotel Horizons cities improving occupancy, RevPAR, and demand, suggesting that that the recovery will arrive a full quarter earlier than the firm forecast in the fall.

PKF said that the decline in average daily room rates (ADR) reached its cyclical low point in the third quarter of 2009.

However, the magnitude of the ADR decline at its turning point was lower than anticipated. At the same time slight near-term improvement in Moody's Economy.com's view on employment recovery translates into an increase in the projected number of hotel rooms occupied in 2010.

PKF-HR now projects that lodging demand will post a quarterly year-over-year increase during the first quarter of 2010, thus ending eight consecutive quarters of declines. (Source: PKF press release).

Customers Happier About Hotel Service
Lodging Interactive´s monthly benchmarking report showed that hotels were headed into the holidays with improved customer satisfaction ratings.

Although mid-scale limited service and extended stay segments struggled, other categories did well. Guest ratings on facilities increased 3.9% to a 4.04 rating, with 5 being tops. Housekeeping increased 5.52% to 3.63 and satisfaction with staff increased slightly, by .26%.

The only areas of decline were a 1.69% decline in dining and a more substantial 5.64% slip in value to 4.18. (Source: Lodging Interactive press release).

Positive Signs for Business Travel

The Business Travel Monitor is reported a glimmer of hope as travelers move to the front of the plane and fares rise modestly, indicating that some companies may be feeling more optimistic about the economy.

  • International and domestic fares were still down year over year but up slightly quarter over quarter. Average domestic and international fares increased 2% quarter over quarter.
  • Overall, hotel rates decreased both internationally and domestically, but there were rate increases among budget, economy and mid-tier hotels.
  • Average domestic hotel rates decreased 2% year over year, but budget hotels increased 7% quarter over quarter. This is a good sign, reflecting a pickup in demand that is starting at the bottom.
  • Averaged international booked hotel rates decreased 10% year over year.
  • Car rental rates increased 5% in the third quarter of 2009 but were flat year over year.

(Source: press release).