The relevance of consumer markets in the hotel industry:
When it comes to group occasions, from wedding receptions to business conventions, hotels are often seen as the prime spot to host these events. Whether the occasion calls for a straightforward business meeting or an elegant celebration, hotels have an advantage over other venues in that they can provide both the space and food and beverage packages that meet a wide variety of needs.
Up until recently, the industry has been growing steadily. According to PKF Hospitality Research, the industry saw a 7.2% increase in bottom-line growth in 2007, the lowest increase since 2004. Some of this slowed growth can undoubtedly be attributed to economic conditions. Higher prices for gas and other commodities are leaving consumers with less disposable income for travel.
A recent poll from AOL Travel and Zogby International found that 57% of consumers have less money to spend on this year's vacation, and 33% of them plan to stay with friends or family instead of booking a hotel room this summer. Business travel has been affected as well. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority says the number of Vegas conventions was down 16% for the 12 months ending in March, resulting in a 16% drop in the number of hotel rooms used by those travelers. Hotel banquet...