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Hotel bosses say hospitality is entering a golden age

03 March 2015 by
Hotel bosses say hospitality is entering a golden age

Chief executives from some of the world's leading hotel companies have predicted that the industry will continue its rapid growth well into 2015, with unprecedented demand driving record results.

Hoteliers on the CEOs panel at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin agreed that 2014 had been a record year, with 2015 set to be even better.

Marriott International chief executive Arne Sorenson said: "If anything, the US economy is building momentum as the year goes on. Elsewhere there is more optimism in Europe than a year ago, albeit weaker than the US. All in all I think we'll see a strong year of revpar growth around the world."

Meanwhile, David Kong, chief executive of Best Western International said that the group was reaching historic high occupancy levels. "Money is easy [in terms of investment] so it bodes well for the hotel industry," he added.

"But not only are we in a great spot, we think we're in the middle of the game. For our company that operates in the more upscale to budget categories we are just hitting the sweet spot. Not only are numbers going up in secondary and tertiary cities but oil and gas prices are having a very positive impact."

At Jumeirah, progress had been dramatic, chief executive Gerald Lawless told delegates. "Our occupancy levels are going up dramatically," he explained. "When you're trading at between 82-85% occupancy with average room rates north of $600 you can say that small growth is still very welcome."

Looking ahead, Joyce added that the wealth of investment available meant that the outlook was positive. "All of our partners are optimistic about the next couple of years," he said. "There is a lot of money looking for placement. It's hard not to be optimistic that not only is the business is there but the capital is available too."

In order to maintain levels of tourism Lawless called on the industry to encourage governments to continue to facilitate travel through making visas easier to source.

Sorenson added: "We are in a golden age of tourism with hundreds of millions of new travellers. Any country can erect bigger borders to make inbound travel more difficult, because the pro security voices can always say the tightest security is to let nobody in. That kind of action will defeat the power of this travel trend. Collectively we need to use our voices and our ears to see what's happening. We can actually have freedom to travel and better security if we use the data that we have."

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