Hoteliers increasingly optimistic about recovery, survey finds

WORLDWIDE Hotelier sentiment is trending in the right direction as demand slowly moves north, according to a survey by hospitality consultancy Horwath HTL. In fact, hotel operators around the globe are more optimistic about the coming few months than at any time since the financial crisis took hold in 2008.

The survey of hoteliers from more than 50 countries shows that although there are still grave concerns about the price and availability of oil, hotel operators around the world believe that the recovery can be sustained.

Oceania remains the most optimistic region with a survey score of 58, compared to the score of 52 from Asia. The Americas, where the fears of a double-dip recession were prevalent in 2010, has rebounded to some extent with a healthier outlook for 2011 and a sentiment score of 37, just ahead of Europe’s 34.

Previous surveys have shown sluggish expectations for ADR growth, but the outlook for 2011 shows that this is improving.

“An improved economic environment is the key factor driving growth. The more positive outlook on display here is very promising, but should be taken with a note of caution,” says Damien Little, a director of Horwath HTL in Asia. “The recovery is still fragile, and recent events in North Africa and the Middle East continue to cause uncertainty, raising the prospect of an extended period of time with oil at over US$100 a barrel. This knock-on effect would impact travel, airlines, fuel costs and ultimately profitability.

“We see a cautious optimism for 2011, but with one eye on oil prices and the general effect that many of the deficit reduction plans could still have on the wider, predominately Western economies as a whole.”