Hoteliers can expect growth in both occupancy and revenue per available room (revpar) levels this year, but at a slow, sustained rate, consultant Melvin Gold told the conference.
Gold said the economic signals pointed to an industry on the up but he did not expect it to peak until 2007, as long as there were no international terrorist incidents.
He told delegates that the decision to lower interest rates following the US terror attacks of 11 September helped keep the UK economy growing, albeit much slower than in 2000.
He added that the economy was now growing strongly, which would benefit hoteliers. He expected occupancy to climb and revpar to recover this year, with London businesses bouncing back strongly.
Gold added: "Be positive: you're part of a growth industry."
Companies that survived the slowdown were likely to consolidate and he reckoned that just 10 companies would control 30% of UK room stock in a year.