By Gregg Wallis
LOS ANGELES—This year’s ALIS Conference included a session entitled “The Numbers—What Are We Dealing With & Where Are We Headed?” Leading economic researchers took a look at the industry and presented their findings. Here is a look at what they said.
Carter Wilson, VP of consulting and analytics, STR
According to Carter Wilson, VP of consulting and analytics at STR, 2017 was a great year for the hotel economy. “The hotel economy is very dependent on the overall economy,” he said. “Right now, all of the indicators are very solid. We are looking at low unemployment, strong corporate earnings and moderate inflation levels, so it all played a key in 2017’s performance in the industry. Demand did outpace our estimate in 2017; a lot of that was due to the third and fourth quarters with the impact of the hurricanes and the wildfires. The industry continues to perform at all-time record levels according to every single metric.”
Cindy Estis Green, CEO and co-founder, Kalibri Labs LLC
Cindy Estis Green, CEO/co-founder of Kalibri Labs, took a look at hotel performance in the digital marketplace.
In 2017, the U.S. hotel industry had nearly twice as much business through its brand.com websites at 22.6%, compared to 13.6% booked through online travel agencies (OTAs). In spite of this difference, hotels are still challenged in managing costs of sales, with OTA commissions rising at three times the rate of guest paid revenue and twice the growth of loyalty costs, according to Estis Green.