Did anything surprise you about the lodging sector’s performance in 2015?
The number of markets with double-digit RevPAR increases, particularly in many secondary and tertiary markets. Markets like San Jose, Oakland, and Portland have experienced double-digit year-over-year RevPAR growth, and there are few indicators that performance growth will slow in the near future.
What can we expect from the lodging sector in 2016?
More of the same. All indicators point toward continued performance growth fueled by ADR. In 2015, the majority of the industry has experienced growth in spend per group room, and I anticipate that to continue into 2016 and beyond. I also foresee new development continuing to accelerate. Concerns related to oversupply are very market-specific.
What is one trend that meeting planners should be keeping an eye on in 2016 and beyond?
Through the recent industry recovery, meeting planners have enjoyed the benefit of booking meetings closer in than they ever have in the past. Many markets have reached, or surpassed, historical occupancy peak levels. With few indicators of slowing growth, booking lead time naturally should stabilize, if not begin to lengthen again, particularly when there is little flexibility in location, programming, and dates.