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American Hotel & Lodging Association Forecasts Positive Travel Market

May 17, 2004

American Hotel & Lodging Association Forecasts Positive Travel Market
May 17, 2004 – American Hotel & Lodging Association held its first one-day national conference last week in Washington, DC. Following are highlights and predictions from the summit:

Travel research and booking through the Internet is increasingly being utilized by consumers. The total effect of online hotel bookings will increase by 30 percent from $1.27 billion in 2003 to $1.66 billion in 2005.

  • Average daily rooms sold will increase to 4.5 percent in 2004 from 1.6 percent in 2003.
  • Occupancy will increase from 59.2 percent in 2003 to 60.8 percent in 2004. The average daily rate of a hotel room will also rise from $83.12 (0.1%) in 2003 to $85.11 (2.4%) in 2004. Additionally, total demand will hit a record level that will force increased occupancy.
  • Generation X (adults ages 24-38) is rapidly approaching Baby Boomers (adults ages 39-58) in travel spending.
  • New construction and re-flagging by leading hotel companies will increase to a total of 165,138 properties (3.4%) in 2004 – representing 56.5 percent of the lodging industry.
  • Leisure and unmanaged business revenue (excluding corporate) is estimated to earn $45.9 billion in 2004 and reach $52.5 billion by 2006.
  • Travelers taking at least one or more business trips are expected to increase to 33 percent in 2004 from 32 percent in 2003. While, 92 percent of Americans taking at least one or more leisure travel, remaining the same from 2003 to 2004.
  • Personal automobiles remain the top mode of transportation in 2004 (78%) compared to 2003 (81%).
  • Thirty-seven percent of consumers expressed that the current economic conditions make it difficult to travel, eclipsing security concerns immediately following Sept. 11, 2001.
  • The top five leisure destinations for 2004 include: Florida (39%), California (36%), Hawaii (21%), New York (18%), and Colorado (16%).

Other contributing factors possibly affecting the future of the U.S. travel and tourism industry such as American military activities in Iraq was also noted. With current overseas actions, consumer reactions may include postponement or cancellation of both business and leisure trips, reluctance to travel longer distances, and shortening hotel length of stay.

For additional information or to view each panelist’s presentation, visit the AH&LA Web site at

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