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Global Hotel Operators Remain Cautiously Optimistic

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Results from the latest edition of the Horwath HTL Global Hotel Market Sentiment Survey, show that hotel operators in all regions of the world continue to believe that the recovery in operating performance is on track, although without any strong conviction that the worst is over.

The survey, carried out every six months by Horwath HTL, one of the world’s foremost firms of hospitality consultants, concentrates on four key questions to gauge the level of industry feeling in the short term, and the key indicators driving the sentiment.

Asia Pacific, the region that has been the least affected by the Global Recession, remains the most optimistic with a survey score of 52.

America, where the fears of a double dip recession remain strong, has a score of 8 meaning that operators expect the poor conditions to remain the same.

Ewout Hoogendoorn, Managing Director of Horwath HTL in the Netherlands said, “In Europe, many markets have been enjoying high occupancy levels without a lift in rate, a clear indication that there is some way to go before a corporate led upturn. However, the fact that the hotels are filling with leisure business will give operators hope of at least stabilising revenue in the short term.”

This is perhaps best illustrated by the disappointment in the sluggish return of average room rate.

In both the European and American region, hoteliers were overall slightly disappointed with average rate growth compared to what they were expecting, minus 2 and 7 respectively, whereas occupancy levels performed to expectations.

 It is no surprise then, that many hoteliers now expect more of the same for room rate performance in the last half of the year, with American operators expecting exactly the same (0) and Europeans scoring only slightly more (10).

Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East are more optimistic, with slight improvements in both room rate and occupancy forecast.

The last question of the survey looked at how the operators felt their hotel would do for the last six months of the year, compared to the first. In the last survey in January, all of the regions felt that their hotel would outperform the market. In this survey, operators almost universally felt that the market would perform the same or slightly better than their property.

Damien Little a Director of Horwath HTL in China, and the founder of the survey said, “The way the regional results in the survey mirror the wider economic picture is extremely interesting and shows how interlinked the industry is to wider economic industry trends. We see an acceptance in the results that there are no quick fixes and that the upturn will be a long hard road.”

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