Friday, January 16, 2009

Hotel Industry Takes Sharp Downturn

Hotel numbers are tumbling as travel chokes.

The U.S. hotel industry experienced declines in all three key performance measurements, including double-digit drops in occupancy and revenue per available room, during the week of January 4-10, compared with the same period a year ago, according to Smith Travel Research.

Occupancy fell 16.9 percent. Revenue per available room, the benchmark figure for hotels, dropped an amazing 22.9 percent. And finally, daily room rates -- which had remained fairly steady as the hotel industry tried to hold onto rates despite the reality of a demand collapse -- fell 7.2 percent.

At the luxury segment, which is reeling, occupancy was down 24.4 percent, and revenue per available room was down 31.1 percent, while (posted) rates were down only 8.9 percent. Every luxury hotel is now ready to deal on rates.

After years of record profits, the hotel industry is staggered by these numbers, and no one knows when and where it will end.


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