Monday, April 12, 2010

Cloudy with occasional bookings

travel forecast

With many industries beginning to see the light after what has been a bummer of a year, one might ask – How are hotels doing?

Glad “one” asked.

Forecasts vary depending on the source, but there seems to be some promise in the market. Here it is reported that “Hoteliers in London could see double – digit revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth this year, according to the latest Hotel Market Outlook, a quarterly report issued by Deloitte.” This upturn in London is expected to last all year and slow during 2011. Is the grass greener on the other side of the pond?

The U.S. market appears to be no different with solid signs of improvement. Demand should increase 4.1 percent and supply should grow 2.2 percent with the recovery picking up its pace through the second and third quarters. This bounce back is expected to continue into 2011, but with lesser results, which seems to be trait found in most of the hotel and travel reports. A fast start and slow finish, like an over caffeinated marathon runner who has yet to discover the importance of pace.

Some sources predict many changes in travel over the course of the next year due to frugal spending, complex packages including higher rates, more boutique style hotels (less luxury), increased social media integration, and a boom in mobile travel technology. Yes, there’s an app for that. These all produce the challenge to hoteliers – plan accordingly and adapt to the changing market.

Online marketing is another area of optimism. Internet bookings grew by 6.6% in 2009’s third quarter, compared to 2008. Marketing avenues such as the aforementioned mobile platform, social media sites, and evolving search engines, poise the online marketing forum in the hotel industry for continued success.

In addition to overall market optimism, competitive markets are seeing a rise in sales. Orlando saw its RevPAR increase almost 2%. Occupancy rose to 71.2% this year overshadowing last year’s 66.8% increase. More families plan to take at least one vacation this year (92% of them to be exact, which is up from 88% last year). Let’s not forget - international trips are also back in the mix. This should lend to a rise in concealed money pouch purchases and stellar suitcase-bike sales.

For the first time in what has seemed to be a long time things are looking up. Even though the climb back to the summit will be gradual, the view from the top should be nothing short of spectacular.

Scott Sanker
Graphic Designer

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