Hoteliers are optimistic about the development prospects in European and international markets, and see exciting opportunities in China.
Speaking at the International Hotel Conference in Monaco last week, hoteliers and market analysts highlighted opportunities for growth in Dubai, China and India.
Chinese provincial cities such as Hangzhou, Hannan and Shenzan are seen as underdeveloped and have growth potential as they become feeder markets for the World Expo in 2006 and the Asian Games, which will be held in Guangzhou in 2010.
Tom Oakden, vice-president of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, said: "One of the important reasons for international hotel brands to become established in China is the future benefit they will derive from brand loyalty around the world from this increasingly affluent population."
In Europe, Moscow, Budapest, Prague and other developing Eastern European cities were pinpointed as key areas for development of hotels and resorts.
One consultant pointed to the importance of low-cost airline operators in developing new destinations and offering hotel opportunities. Michael O'Hare, partner of Dutch hotel and travel consultant Horwath Consulting, said: "The correlation between beds and airline seats shouldn't be underestimated. Awareness of destinations like Budapest and Prague was created by the budget airline effect."
In the USA, fractional ownership, timeshare and mixed-use condohotels were cited as the most exciting new products on the market.
By Emily Manson