HNN recaps 5 things to know from 2009 with stories and videos as part of its look back at 10 years of the hotel industry.
GLOBAL REPORT—Into the second year of a global economic recession, forecasts for the hotel industry were grim, and the only solace offered to hoteliers was that surely it could only get better from here, or at least it couldn’t get much worse.
STR, parent company of Hotel News Now, “dramatically” revised its year-end forecast that July, projecting declines of 8.2% in occupancy, 9.7% in average daily rate and 17.1% in revenue per available room.
In a video interview with HNN Editorial Director Jeff Higley (below), then STR President Mark Lomanno said he expected the reaction to the revised forecast to be “that STR has probably finally gotten realistic.”
At STR’s inaugural Hotel Data Conference that August, Lomanno offered this silver lining: “2009 is not positive, but when you look at 2010, we start getting signs from the general economy that conditions are going to start to improve.”
Meanwhile, as a result of the recession, new hotel construction was largely on hold as lending dried up; and despite an unemployment rate of 8.5% in the U.S., the industry was struggling to find good labor.
Still, there were a few bright spots for hoteliers.
The recession also didn’t stop new hotel brands from being launched (Hilton’s Home2Suites was announced in January 2009; and Marriott International debuted its Autograph Collection that November).
As it does today, tragedy emphasized the bonds and best instincts of the industry and hoteliers when, in the aftermath of deadly bombings at its JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia, Marriott took to Twitter to issue updates, share condolences and spotlight its hospitality in the face of terror.
Here’s a look at five other top stories from 2009 that represent the pulse of the industry or had some lasting effect on it.