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Economic Analysis of the Hotel Industry

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Economic Analysis of the United States Hotel Industry

Background Information

Our team chose the hotel industry in the United States for our economic analysis. The hotel business has existed since the earliest times, and has influenced the development of the economy since the founding of this country.

According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, in the year 1900, there were fewer than 10,000 hotels in the US which provided 750,000 to 850,000 rooms. The 2004 figures show that there are 47, 584 hotel properties in the US with 15 rooms or more. There are currently 4,415,696 guestrooms available. The industry had sales of $105.3 billion in 2003, which places average revenue per room at $50.42 with an average occupancy rate of 60.1%.

The hotel industry is considered part of the tourism industry in the US. Currently, tourism is the 3rd largest retail industry in the US. Only the automotive and food industries are larger.

Recent Performance

The hotel industry is currently experiencing a period of recovery following the events of September 11, 2001. The business and pleasure travel industry was impacted dramatically by the events on that September day. Hotel bookings in major cities fell as airline schedules were halted and the public adjusted to the new rules pertaining to air travel in the US. Many businesses cut back their travel planning and conducted business meetings via alternate methods. The economic slump in the country also helped to lower the occupancy rates at many of the major hotel chains throughout the country. However, even with these developments, over the past 10 years, the average room rate has risen from $60.53 in 1993 to $82.52 in 2003 (Smith Travel Research). In the last two years the hotel industry has seen a period of recovery in which currently demand is once again exceeding supply in some markets. The hotel industry pays $159 billion in travel related wages and salaries and currently employs 1.7 million hotel property workers, the majority of which are union represented. Tourism on the whole, directly supports 7.4 million jobs in the United States. One out of every eight Americans is either directly or indirectly employed because of people traveling on business or for pleasure. (American Hotel and Lodging Association)

The top five hotel companies in the United States are;

1. Inter- Continental Hotel Group, the company has 551938 rooms available at 3656 properties. The brand includes Candlewood, Centra, Crown Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Inter-Continental.

2. Cendant Corporation, the company has 503860 rooms available at 6461 properties. The brand includes Amerihost Inn, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Ramada, Super 8 and Travelodge.

3. Marriott International, Inc., the company has 50188 rooms available at 2799 properties. The brand includes the Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Ramada International Hotels and Resorts, Renaissance Hotels and Resorts, and Residence Inn.

4. Choice Hotels International, Inc., the company has 392597 rooms available at 4769 properties. The brand includes Clarion, Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge, Quality Inn Hotel and Suites, Rodeway Inn, and Sleep Inn.

5. Hilton Hotels Corporation, the company has 374550 rooms available at 2259 properties. The brand includes Conrad, Doubletree, Doubletree Club, Embassy Suites, Embassy Vacation Resort, Hampton Inn and Suites, Hilton, Hilton Gaming, Hilton Garder Inn, and Homewood Suites.

The next five major hotel chains that round out the top 10 are listed by corporation name only, they are;

* Best Western International

* Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

* Accor International

* Carlson Hospitality Worldwide

* Accor North America

Some of the brands represented by these companies are Park Plaza, Red Roof Inn, Radisson,

Motel 6, Sheraton, Westin, and Four Points Hotels. It must be pointed out that these are the major companies. This list does not include private interests like the Trump Plaza, the Palmer House, or many of the privately owned major hotels in the country.

Mergers and acquisitions are common in the hotel industry. One of the most recent is the acquisition of hotels from CTF Holdings Ltd. (ElBoghdady, Washington Post) This acquisition caused second quarter profits to drop, however second quarter revenue jumped to 2.66 billion up 11% from 2.4 billion in the previous quarter. Marriot reported that revenue per available room rose 11.1 percent, a key measure of a hotel company's strength. Rising demand drove up room rates increasing to 8.9% worldwide and 8.5% in North America.

In a call with analysts, Arne M. Sorenson, Marriott's chief financial officer stated," It's been a long time since we have seen demand so strong in so many places and average pricing moving up so quickly." (Washington Post)

J.W. Marriott Jr., the company's chairman and chief executive added," occupancy and room rates improved due to accelerating corporate demand, growing group meeting attendance and increasing global travel." (Washington Post)

Demand, Supply, Pricing, and Competitive Strategy

As we discussed in class, every business is faced with these issues and they are important to managers making strategic decisions. One of the first things learned about business is that if there is no demand for a good or service, the firm that provides it will not continue to exist. Over time the hotel industry has continued to change with market conditions and make itself attractive to business and pleasure travelers. Hotels have ventured into the extended day suite market that provides business people a home away from home with a separate bedroom, kitchen area, and workspace complete with data port hook-up. These accommodations are tailored to people that must stay in one place to accomplish their work.

There is a new range of hotels that are theme based with things that a family can do together. Disney Resorts, and Club Med are examples of these. There are hotel casinos that provide nightlife and entertainment. These places were once limited to adults, but to increase demand more of these hotels are offering things to do for the family on vacation. Hotel executives must spend a great deal of time evaluating where to put new units, or where to buy a hotel for

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