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U.S. Hotel Occupancy Expected to Rise This Summer

April 21, 2004

U.S. Hotel Occupancy Expected to Rise This Summer
April 21, 2004 – According to consultants at PricewaterhouseCoopers, hotel occupancy rates are expected to rise in the United States this summer, despite rising gasoline prices.

"The summer occupancy levels are great news for the industry, as occupancy will recover to (year) 2000 levels when the industry had one of its strongest years ever," said Dr. Bjorn Hanson, global industry leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers Hospitality & Leisure Practice.

Occupancy from the Memorial Day weekend through the Labor Day weekend period should rise 2% from last year to 69.1%, the highest since 2000, when occupancy reached 72.1%.

Hansen also reports that an increase in occupancy from last year is expected during the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holiday periods, with occupancy numbers similar to 2002.

Rising gasoline prices would only depress hotel occupancy by one-quarter to one-half of a percentage point, Hansen noted.

Revenue per available room at hotels should also increase 5.3%, Hansen said earlier this month, citing strong consumer confidence as the chief reason behind expectations for a stronger summer travel season.

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