PWC: Hotels wild ride may be heading for a slowdown

The historical boom in the lodging industry will continue, but at a slower pace.

That was the gist of PricewaterhouseCoopers 11th annual U.S. Lodging Industry Briefing, which was presented by Bjorn Hanson, a principal with the firm.

During the presentation in New York, Hanson offered a blizzard of statistics.

Demand growth, for example, which peaked at a 5.2% increase in the first quarter of 2004, had slowed to 1.6% in the first three quarters of this year.

The last quarter of 2006 is a little scary, because there is more supply growth than demand growth, he said.

Still, he said, the 6.8% rise in average daily rate for 2006 is the highest in decades, surpassing the most recent peak of 6.4% set in 1996.

Among other stats, Hanson noted that per capita Gen X demand for hotel rooms exceeded that of baby boomers in both business and leisure. While we are focused on the 49 million Gen X-ers, there are 73 million Millennials coming along who now average 20 years old, Hanson said. They will have a significant impact.

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