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5 things to know: 18 April 2012
April 18 2012

• Pegasus: Leisure rates rising at record levels
• A hotelier’s guide to going mobile
• Pipeline data for three key global regions 
• Accor reports Q1 revenue up 4.5%
• HIP: Growth rate slows, recession risk is rising

Year-over-year leisure room rates are increasing at record levels, according to Pegasus Solutions, which tracks leisure bookings on what it calls “alternative distribution systems,” made up of online travel agents but not sites.

Globally, room rates increased 9.2% in March compared to March 2011, said Julie Parodi, senior director of strategic planning and analysis for Pegasus. Previously, the highest global year-over-year increase on the ADS channels was 8.3%, set in December.

In North America, room rates on the ADS channels grew by 8.5%, besting the 7.3% year-over-year growth in February.

Parodi said the record-breaking rate increases can be attributed to hoteliers who have learned to price to value, understanding the lowest price isn’t the driving factor in a consumer's mind.

“Hoteliers are using more stable demand to their advantage,” she said, “not just throwing rooms away at bargain basement prices.”

Implementing a mobile strategy is crucial in making a hotel successful. Any hotelier not yet on the technology bandwagon is missing out on important business and profits, writes’s Alissa Ponchione.

Planning a strategy to better capitalize on business that comes through the mobile channel is imperative for maintaining a successful hotel, experts said Tuesday during a HSMAI digital marketing webinar.

The myriad questions hoteliers face when entering the mobile universe seem limitless, but by establishing best practices, hoteliers will see increases in traffic to their websites, said moderator Bill Carroll, senior lecturer at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, during the webinar titled “The Mobile Marketing Action Plan for Hoteliers.”

Carroll said mobile shoppers are expected to spend $119 billion globally on goods and services by 2015, up from $12 billion in 2009. “It’s a pervasive device in the hands of consumers,” Carroll said, adding the number of mobile users will grow to 5 billion within the next three years.

STR Global, sister company of, released construction pipeline data for three key regions of the world from March. Of the three regions released Wednesday, the Asia/Pacific region reported the most hotels in the development pipeline.

Asia/Pacific: The Asia/Pacific hotel development pipeline comprises 1,602 hotels totaling 366,775 rooms. Among the region’s countries, India reported the largest expected room growth (35%) if all 60,845 rooms in its total active pipeline open.

Europe: The Europe hotel development pipeline comprises 879 hotels totaling 141,062 rooms.
Among the key markets in the region, Manchester, United Kingdom, reported the largest expected growth (27.7%) if all 3,611 rooms in the total active pipeline open.

Middle East/Africa: The Middle East/Africa hotel development pipeline comprises 497 hotels totaling 134,585 rooms. In the Middle East/Africa region, 12 properties opened in the first quarter with 2,718 rooms. The region expects 134 more properties to open this year with 34,688 rooms.

Accor on Tuesday reported revenue results for the first quarter of 2012.

Highlights include:

  • Revenue up 4.5% like-for-like and 1.2% on a reported basis;
  • solid performance in every segment, led by robust rate increases;
  • management and franchise fees up 22.2%;
  • record expansion during the quarter, with the opening of 7,720 rooms (56 hotels), 90% of which are under management and franchise agreements; and
  • consolidated revenue totaled €1.37 billion ($1.79 billion) for the first three months of 2012, up 4.5% like-for-like on first quarter 2011.

Business activity in the U.S. hotel industry was flat at a reading of 104.6 during March after an increase of 0.1% in February, according to the latest reading of’s Hotel Industry Pulse index.

HIP is a composite indicator that gauges monthly overall business conditions in the U.S. hotel industry. The index was set to equal 100 in 2005.

HIP's six-month growth rate, which has historically confirmed the turning points in U.S. hotel business activity, had a positive rate of 1.3% in March following a positive rate of 1.7% in February.

"We continue to see a flat trend in the HIP, hotel industry pulse. The six-month growth rate continues to slow and the recession risk is rising," Evangelos Simos, chief economist of, said in a statement.

Compiled by Jason Q. Freed.

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