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Friday, June 11, 2010

Hotel Industry is heating Up !!! ( HOT,MAR,H,CHH,BXG,GET,IHG,RLH )

Things are beginning to look up for the hotel industry, with luxury players leading the budding recovery. That could mean travelers will have a little harder time locating once-in-a-lifetime discounts. Hotel rates and bussiness is heating up ! Buy Now !!

Four nights for the price of three at Mexico's One & Only Palmilla

Smith Travel Research said Tuesday that increases in demand prompted it to revise upward its outlook for this year and next. The lodging research and consulting firm now expects U.S. occupancy levels in 2010 will rise 3.6% from last year, to 56.7%. In April, the firm had predicted occupancy levels for this year of 55.8%. Revenue per available room, a gauge of hotel revenue, is expected to rise 3% this year to $55.13. The firm's previous forecast was for $53.22.

By the end of 2011, Smith Travel sees further gains in occupancy levels to 58.1%, and in revenue per available room to $58.70.

High-end and luxury hotels typically are the first to recover after an economic slump. "They got hit a whole lot more on the downside of things, so now what's happening is you are seeing those guys snap back a lot faster," says Bobby Bowers, senior vice president at Smith Travel.

While hotel rates have stopped their freefall, they aren't predicted to skyrocket this year. Smith Travel expects U.S. average daily rates to remain virtually flat in 2010, at $97.26, a decline of just 0.6% from last year. Still, that represents a brighter picture than Smith Travel presented in April, when it predicted hotel rates would average $95.45 this year. Next year, Smith Travel expects average rates to reach $101.05.

Marriott International Inc. said Tuesday that in May it raised room rates at its North American properties for the first time since 2008. Marriott, based in Bethesda, Md., manages or franchises most of its hotels. Rates rose 1% during a period that included most of May compared with the same period last year, said President and Chief Operating Officer Arne Sorenson speaking at a conference in New York.

Still, the hotel industry's health is a far cry from prerecession levels. "That percentage change that looks so good, you've got to take it with the grain of salt, because it's coming off of [comparative statistics] that were so bad," cautioned Mr. Bowers.

Gulf Coast Cancellations

Hotels in the Gulf of Mexico region are facing more cancellations as the effects of the BP oil spill spread. A survey by Knowland Group, a lodging-data-collection company, showed that 60% of hotels are experiencing group-booking cancellations, up 18 percentage points from a similar survey taken two weeks earlier. The company surveyed 50 hotels on June 2 and 3 in the Gulf Coast area.

The outlook also isn't bright: 28% of hotels surveyed said they are having "significant difficulty" booking future events, double the number from the previous survey. And 39% of hotels said guests cited the oil spill as a reason for canceling their Memorial Day weekend reservations.


Air France on Sept. 1 will start flying between Paris and Tokyo using its fleet of A380s, the largest passenger airplane in the world. Flights initially will depart three times a week, and increase to daily service starting Oct. 5.

One & Only, a chain of luxury resorts in destinations from Mexico to South Africa, is offering a series of summer deals. The chain, owned by Kerzner International, said the deals are bookable through June 20, for various travel dates this summer. At the One & Only Palmilla in Mexico, for instance, guests who stay four nights receive one of the nights free, a $50 credit per person toward certain spa offerings, two rounds of golf for the price of one, $100 resort credit and $100 food and beverage credit. The deal is good through Oct. 31.
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