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PKF Consulting Forecasts 2003 Holiday Season for Hotels; 
2003 Performance Will Exceed Levels
Achieved in the Year 2000
Atlanta. November 19, 2003.  PKF Consulting and the Hospitality Research Group have released their U.S. lodging industry forecasts for the 2003 holiday season.  The forecasts incorporate an analysis of historical holiday performance, as well as data from the firm’s Fall 2003 Hotel Outlook forecast.

According to Dr. Jack Corgel of HRG and Cornell University professor, “We believe that the recovery in the U.S. lodging industry that started in the third quarter of 2003 will continue into the fourth quarter and boost hotel performance levels for the holidays above those achieved in the year 2000.  Like most recovery periods in the past, the gains in revenue will be primarily attributable to increases in occupancy.  We continue to believe there is enough softness in the market that will not allow hoteliers to increase room rates.”

HRG Took a number of factors into consideration in the current forecast of 2003 holiday performance:

  • Nationwide RevPAR is forecasted to increase 3.6 percent during the fourth quarter of 2003, compared to the fourth quarter of 2002.
  • The prospect of war in Iraq was looming in November and December of 2002, resulting in market uncertainty and diminished travel.
  • Fear of travel is still a factor today, but not as much so relative to a year ago.
  • Consumer optimism is up, relative to 2001 and 2002.
  • Consumers tend to book holiday travel well in advance.  Therefore, lower rates were available in late summer and early fall, and travelers benefited with better pricing.
  • A level of consumer sentiment leads them to believe that fewer last-minute bargains will be available, so consumers are buying now.
  • Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Thursdays this year, unlike last year when they fell on Wednesdays.  It will thus be easier for travelers to take a “long-weekend” this year, therefore, enhancing hotel demand.

The following table lists the HRG forecast for U.S. hotels for both the Thanksgiving and Christmas 2003 holiday periods.

Thanksgiving Holiday Period
Period is defined as Wednesday through Sunday

Occupancy Average Daily Rate RevPAR Percent Change
2000 49.3% $75.90 $37.43 -
2001 47.7% $71.45 $34.05 -9.0%
2002 51.9% $77.09 $39.98 17.4%
2003 (F) 54.1% $76.13 $41.21 3.1%

Christmas Holiday Period
Period is defined as Wednesday through Sunday

Occupancy Average Daily Rate RevPAR Percent Change
2000 44.5% $80.32 $35.71 -
2001 43.0% $78.04 $33.58 -6.0%
2002 43.8% $79.81 $34.95 4.1%
2003 (F) 45.9% $79.60 $36.56 4.6%
Sources: The Hospitality Research Group of PKF Consulting, 
Smith Travel Research (historical data)

For more information about national and local market hotel forecasts produced by HRG and its partners at Torto Wheaton Research, please contact Claude Vargo at (404) 842-1150, ext 237.

The Hospitality Research Group (HRG), headquartered in Atlanta, is the research affiliate of PKF Consulting, the international consulting and real estate firm specializing in the hospitality industry.  PKF Consulting has offices in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.



Mark Woodworth
Executive Managing Director
The Hospitality Research Group
3340 Peachtree Road Suite 580
Atlanta, GA  30326
(404) 842-1150, ext 222

Robert Mandelbaum 
Director of Research Information Services 
The Hospitality Research Group 
3340 Peachtree Road
Suite 580 Atlanta, GA  30326
(404) 842-1150, ext 223

Also See: 2003 First Half Hotel Profits Plunge; Average U.S. Hotel Suffered 11.9% Decline in IBFC During the First Six months of 2003 / PKF / October 2003
Operating Profits for the Average U.S. Hotel Dropped 9.6% in 2002, This After a 19.4% Decline In 2001 / PKF Consulting - HRG Annual Hotel Trends Report / April 2003
Hotel Benchmarking Revisited; Bottom-Line Comparisons Among Similar Properties Are the 'Bottom Line' / May 2003

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