Hospitality Industry Confronts Impact of Economic Downturn
Occupancy and revPAR levels for U.S. hotels continue to decline through the first week of November (latest available data) though ten top markets posted brisk growth in occupancy levels, room rates and revPAR through October.
Hotels in the United Kingdom as well as in Europe overall registered revPAR declines based on sliding occupancy levels.
The hotel construction pipeline grew 28% worldwide at the mid-year point (latest available data) although signs point to a developing fall-off and in the U.S., the number of guestrooms under
construction decreased by 5% in October.
Car Rental Customer Satisfaction Continues to Decline Customer satisfaction with renting cars at airports has declined considerably for a second consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Rental Car Satisfaction Study.
The study looks at six factors: costs and fees, pick-up process, rental car, return process, reservation process and shuttle bus/van.
Overall satisfaction declines significantly from 750 points on a 1,000-point scale in 2007 to 734 in 2008. Staffing and operational cuts are hurting service, according to the study. Enterprise ranked highest for the fifth year in a row, followed by Hertz and Alamo. (Source: J.D. Power press release).
Avis Budget Ups Rates $3 Per Day
Avis Budget Group said it is upping its retail car rental rates by $3 per day and $20 per week at all airport and selected off-airport locations.
The company said the rate increase was a response to escalating costs affecting the car rental industry. Hertz raised its rates in the U.S. and Europe at the end of October. (Source: Avis Budget Press release)
Airline baggage fees bug air travelers the most, but many consider general cabin ticket prices and fuel surcharge reasonable, according to a survey by the IBM Institute of Business Value.
- Seventy-eight percent of travelers consider airline baggage fees the biggest rip-off.
- Seventy-six percent considered additional charges to redeem miles another major rip-off.
- But 70 percent called general cabin ticket prices reasonable.
- Half considered fuel surcharges valid.
- Fifty-eight percent prefer to pay the lowest possible ticket price, sacrificing all amenities, including food.
(Source: IBM press release)