3 Big Takeaways from HDC 2014
The future is bright! This was the common theme among all the sessions and panel discussions at Hotel Data Conference 2014. With the hotel industry in the middle of an upward moving cycle, experts agreed that we had not reached the top just yet.
While there were many high points in the conference, we'll highlight a few that stood out:
1. U.S. records set
In the opening panel discussion, experts like Vail Brown of STR spoke about record numbers in both 2013 as a whole and 2014 to date. "In 2013, at the end, our industry hit five all-time highs out of the six key performance indicators," says Vail Brown of STR. In 2013, the industry experienced:
- Most rooms available
- Most rooms sold
- Highest rooms revenue
- Highest ADR ($110)
- Highest RevPar ($70)
Will the trend continue in 2014? According to Brown, YTD RevPAR growth as of May 2014 was up 10%. Brown shared, "It was the highest May on record, ever!" She admitted that STR did not see this coming based on the supply and demand numbers.
2. Guest loyalty is powerful, especially among millennials
Guy Langford of Deloitte presented information regarding millennials and compared them to all other travelers. Deloitte found that, contrary to popular belief, millennials are extremely loyal to their brand of choice and, when traveling for business, will drive an extra 15 minutes and spend $41 more per night to stay at a favorite brand. The key here is once they are loyal. Brands have to think about creating a unique experience to gain the loyalty in the first place.
3. Performance trends in the top 25 markets to note
Brad Garner, senior VP of client relations for STR, presented the top 25 markets in the U.S. and key data that secured their place. "One of the primary reasons we benchmark and track the top 25 markets is because of the power these markets have to generate revenue,” Garner said. Garner and his team ranked the top 25 cities with an A, B, or C based on indexed data from 2008 to now, plus numbers from 2014 and looking ahead to 2015. Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville, Miami, Oahu Island, San Francisco, and Tampa were all included. Here are some stats to note about these cities:
- These markets generated 43.4% of total industry revenue, which is $55.2 billion in room revenue. They boast 31.5% of the total number of rooms available in the U.S. or 1.55 million rooms.
- Demand is up! Occupancy through July 2014 was 71.4% compared to 59.5% for all other markets
- These markets were also the leader in rates. Through June on a 12-month moving average, the ADR for the top 25 markets was $137.68, above the remaining U.S. markets which was $97.78.
Data can be surprising or it can help tell the story you predicted. Which way will it go at HDC 2015? Tell us what you think on Twitter!