PKF forecasts uneven recovery for U.S. hotels

PKF Hospitality Research (PKF-HR) is forecasting the continued recovery of the U.S. lodging industry, with U.S. RevPAR projected to rise 8.1% in 2011 and another 6.1% in 2012, but data also indicates ongoing bias favoring the future performance of hotels in the upper-tier segments of the industry.

Hotels operating in the luxury, upper-upscale and upscale segments are all forecast to achieve occupancies above 70% in both 2012 and 2013, which will exceed their long-term average occupancy levels, PKF-HR reported. Conversely, hotels in the lower-priced chain-scales will continue to achieve occupancy levels below their long-term average through 2013.

PKF-HR is projecting ADR for all U.S. hotels to increase 4.7% in 2012 and another 5.3% in 2013. The long-term annual average for ADR growth is 2.8%.

With occupancy levels for upper-tier hotels forecast to exceed 70%, ADR growth for these properties will exceed the ADR increases projected for lower-tier hotels, according to PKF-HR. However, all chain-scale segments are forecast to surpass their long-term average annual ADR growth rates in both 2012 and 2013.

PKR-HR is forecasting U.S. lodging demand to grow 2% in 2012 — less than the annual growth rates observed in 2010 (7.4%, as reported by Smith Travel Research) and projected for 2011 (4.8%).

“Looking forward, we are seeing familiar signs along the road to recovery,” said Mark Woodworth, president of PKF-HR. “Owners and operators are now focused on more aggressive pricing policies, which in turn will translate into strong growth in hotel profits. We believe market conditions during the next few years will allow them to achieve these goals.”