Mark Lommano, the president of Smith Travel Research, calls the deteriorating situation in the U.S. hotel industry "disappointing, surprising and a little bit sad."
Smith Travel today issued what it called a "drastic downgrade" in its projections for domestic hotels, predicting a 17.1 percent decrease in the key revenue-per-available-room measure and saying that a recovery, earlier forecast for later this year, won't be seen till 2010.
Here's the gloomy report. Slammed by the economy and a travel slump, hotels are "unable to hold pricing" even after months of discounts and promotions -- and this is hitting the higher-level hotels hardest.
For us travelers, it's a great time to get a hotel deal. At high-end hotels that were built with residence and condo components, it's a terrific time to get an upgrade to the best accommodations.
On the other hand, I like the hotel industry and I like hotel people. I agree that, boon to travelers aside, this is a little sad.