Hospitality Investors Predict Economic Rebound for 2009, ALIS Survey Says

Despite widespread economic uncertainty, a majority of hospitality industry investors expect 2009 to be a year of economic recovery within the hotel industry, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), which recently conducted a survey of past and current delegates of its annual Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), taking place Jan. 26-28 in San Diego.

Of the 3,000 investors surveyed, 53 percent said they feel the economic situation for the hotel industry will turn around in 2009—most believing that it will do so in the third or fourth quarter. Less than half of investors surveyed—47 percent—believe the hotel industry will continue struggling at least until 2010.

While more than 77 percent of ALIS survey respondents predict that money will flow into the acquisitions market, eventually stimulating new hotel development activity, 65 percent said that the federal government must first pass more economic stimulus measures with which to jumpstart the national economy.

"It's encouraging that those in the hospitality investment community are expressing a cautious optimism toward both future industry growth and returning profitability as early as the second half of 2009," Jim Burba, president and conference chair for ALIS organizer BHN, said in a statement. "It will be interesting to see the mood at this year's conference, so soon after the Obama Administration takes the reins of government and introduces a revised economic stimulus package."

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