Hotel & Car Rental News May 2011


Royal Sonesta in New Orleans

Summer Prospects Are Looking Up For U.S. Hotels
U.S. hotels should see occupancy and rates increase modestly this summer, according to STR, a major hotel consulting company. STR predicts that occupancies will increase 1.7 to 66.7% and average daily rates will increase 4.1% to $103.01.

Demand should recover in earnest this summer, according to STR, but rising fuel costs could dampen that. (Source: STR press release).

U.S Hotel Occupancies Up 6.1% in Spring
The U.S. hotel industry is building momentum. March occupancy and rate numbers were up 6.1% and 3.8% respectively, according to STR. That’s a sign of an ongoing recovery, according to the hospitality consulting company.

Major markets showing rate increases are San Francisco, up 12%, Oahu, up 9 concerns that there is enhanced potential for anti-American violence in the wake of bin Laden’s death are behind the State Department’s worldwide travel alert. percent, New Orleans, up 8.9% and Chicago, up 7% (Source: STR).

Car Rental

Hertz Repositions Fun Cars and Green Collection
Hertz has renamed two of its collections. The Fun Collection is now the Adrenaline Collection, which features muscle cars such as the Camaro SS, the Mustang GT Premium and the Challenger RT. All will come with free Sirius XM radio.

The Green Collection is now the Green Travel Collection and is made up entirely of hybrid, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). By the end of the year, Hertz expects to have hundreds of EVs on the road. (Source: Hertz press release).

New High for Business Travel

Business travel hit a post-recession high at the end of the last quarter of 2010, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The GBTA Business Travel Index (BTI) is at its highest level since the recession began in 2008.

This is good news for the economy, since GBTA Foundation research shows that increasing business travel spending is a leading indicator of future job growth. Stronger economic growth and the expectation of slightly higher prices drove the BTI higher.

  • The GBTA revised the index upward from 108 for Q4 2010 to 112, its highest since Q3 2008
  • That represent $1.9 billion more in business travel spending than originally forecast
  • For the year, total U.S. spending on business travel grew 3.2 percent
  • Business travel spending for 2011 is now expected to be up 6.9 percent for the year, up from the original 5% forecast
  • Travel costs are starting to increase, going up 2.5% in 2010 and projected to increase by 2 to 4% this year.
Source: GBTA press release.