Mark Woodworth, President, PKF Hospitality Research
1) Greater room demand—According to STR, more hotel rooms were rented in 2013 than in any previous year. Demand growth in 2014 should be even greater, all despite below-average economic growth, says Mark, snapped above with daughter Savannah, a sophomore at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. (She's class of '16, and Mark is Cornell class of '77.)
2) Hilton IPO—It's the largest lodging IPO and indicates capital markets' belief in the future postive outlook for the industry. Current low interest rates and a solid hotel outlook for '14 and beyond suggest that more public offerings are "in the offing." (Will Priceline accept our bid of $4 if it knows we now own the hotel?)
3) Further ADR growth—ADR rates have returned to their previous peak in the vast majority of US markets. Nationally, ADR rates will grow at a faster rate (4.8%) this year than they did in 2013 (3.9%). Improving prices will continue to drive double-digit increases in hotel profits.
Lauro Ferroni, VP of Research, JLL Hotels
1) A return to peak occupancy—This year, occupancy will likely reach its previous 2006 peak. "Once it’s back, that’s when hotel owners can start driving daily rates," says Lauro, snapped above at the legendary Hotel Sacher in Vienna.
2) An uptick in transaction activity—Acquisitions are being driven by the amount of increased debt financing. This year will mark the fifth consecutive increase in RevPAR, so early-cycle buyers may be looking to sell.
3) New supply coming to market—It’s been a smooth wave for existing owners the past few years, but we’ll begin to see some new hotel supply coming to market, Lauro says. However, the new openings expected in 2014 as a portion of the total market (1%) is still well below the long-term average of 2%.