Report: Hoteliers react to economy

Rapid changes in the global economy are sweeping all sectors of business and the hotel industry is not immune, according to a new report.

Hotel Industry Global Outlook, released by Research and Markets, provides an aerial view of the hotel industry. The report discusses the latest trends prevalent in the international space, the present level of competition, and cursory insights into recent mergers, and acquisitions. Markets summarised are the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, China, India, Russia and other European markets.

“Demand for hotel rooms, which slumped during the recession period, is on a rebound in line with recovery in economic scenario,” read the report.

“Luxury hotels in the US are exhibiting a more resilient recovery compared to other segments of the industry post recession. Though the recovery rate is fast, luxury hotels segment still lags in the revenue-per-room and occupancy percentage. A host of new constructions are expected to come up in the near future as hoteliers line up a pipeline of new hotel developments for addressing rising demand for hotel rooms and services. Healthy hotel services such as wellness and healing programs, as well as customised menus are an emerging trend in the current hospitality industry.”

New economies targeted

However, saturation in developed markets has led to the exploration of fast-growing economies as potential new markets.

“The hotel industry in China is a global frontrunner as the country’s economy is the fastest emerging market. In addition, India, a developing global business hub, offers attractive investment propositions for both upscale branded and moderate-tier hotels.

“With the hospitality industry focusing on making travelling a healthy experience, especially for regular travellers, new practices such as wellness and healing programmes including hypnotherapy and acupuncture are being incorporated in the service menu,” read the 226-page global outlook update.

US travel up

According to statistics released by the United States Department of Commerce, overseas outbound travel to the Caribbean in the first quarter of 2012 was up by 12 per cent compared with the same time in 2011. In total, 1.6 million travellers were recorded, said the report. Overseas travel in general was 6.3 million travellers, which was up by 11 per cent.

That made the Caribbean the second largest market to Europe, which reached 1.9 million, a rise of 8 per cent. Asia was in third place with 1.1 million, a 12 per cent increase over 2011.

North American markets received 52 per cent of all US outbound travel, shared between Mexico (40 per cent) and Canada (12 per cent). Europe’s share was 15 per cent, the Caribbean 13 per cent and Asia 8 per cent, said the department of commerce report.

It tracks all outbound travel per month, not just air-only, but overseas markets is based on nonstop only data. As some flights connect through hubs in Europe to Africa and the Middle East, adjustments to these metrics occur after all year-end data is compiled.