In this video interview, STR President and CEO Amanda Hite talked with Hotel News Now at the 2017 Hotel Data Conference about the latest U.S. hotel industry forecast.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee—Consumer spending was one factor behind a revised forecast for the U.S. hotel industry, according to Amanda Hite, president and CEO of STR, parent company of Hotel News Now.
Hite spoke with HNN at the recent Hotel Data Conference, during which STR and Tourism Economics released the latest industry forecast, which shows continued modest growth for the hotel industry through 2018.
“It was a downward revision for our forecast this quarter, but the news was actually positive in that we revised our demand forecast up,” Hite said.
Demand projections were bumped up to 2% from 1.7%, while the expectation for average daily rate was revised down to 2.3% for the year. Occupancy is expected to remain flat for the year, and full-year revenue per available room is expected to grow 2.3%.
Asked about some of the macro trends behind demand growth, Hite pointed to consumer spending.
“That’s probably fueling transient demand the most,” she said. “Consumer spending is continuing to climb higher than it’s been, and we see that in the demand that’s coming into hotels on the transient side, so it’s those single-business travelers or leisure customers that are driving the growth.”
To make high demand work in their favor, hoteliers should consider finding ways to bring in guests on Sunday nights, Hite said.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunity there,” she said. “Obviously for hoteliers to increase RevPAR, it’s going to have to come from rate because they are so full … and I think that’s not just the transient growth, but I think there’s opportunity in the group side also.”