Hunter Hotel Conference 2023 Recap
If you’re planning a hotel project, you want your design and procurement consultants to be plugged into what’s going on within the industry. When they are continuously meeting and connecting with others in the marketplace, they create important relationships and pick up valuable insights that ultimately benefit your results and bottom line.
Innvision does this by attending and sponsoring industry events such as the annual Hunter Hotel Conference, which “welcomes anyone involved in the financing, management, and development of hotels,” including franchisors/franchisees, owners, management companies, lenders, consultants, designers, lawyers, and more.
In this post, you’ll learn our highlights from the event and what we plan to bring back to our clients.
Innvision at the Hunter Hotel Conference
Each year at the conference, our team networks with hotel owners, developers, general contractors, designers/architects, and other hospitality professionals at our booth and other events throughout the show. We discuss the benefits of partnering with Innvision on hotel design and FF&E procurement and attend panel discussions to learn the latest news in the industry.
This year, we saw hoteliers and hospitality professionals who were excited to be face-to-face with each other. The conference itself reinforced the importance of hotels and the normalcy of group meetings. We sensed optimism about the future of travel for the hospitality industry, even with the talks of a possible recession across the broader economy. Despite that backdrop, and with the guidance from experts below, many hoteliers continue to move forward with renovations and new construction.
Hotel Market Predictions
Experts on the economy and the hotel market shared their observations and forecasts, many of which were positive. We’ll summarize a few of them here:
- Mark Keam, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Travel and Tourism, International Trade Administration, announced that restoring international travel is a big priority for his office. They expect 80% growth in inbound visitors to the U.S. from 2022 to 2027.
- Adam Sacks, President of Tourism Economics, offered bad and good news. The bad: recent bank failures and higher interest rates have tightened credit conditions across the economy, housing is in a recession, and manufacturing is in a downturn. The good: unemployment is very low, inflation should slow in the coming months, and many households have more cash savings than they did pre-pandemic. The net effect: Sacks believes consumer demand and travel should hold up well even in a recession.
- Sacks sees prioritization of travel normalizing and returning, which should lead Americans to travel more this year than last. In addition to inbound international travel, U.S. businesses are restoring necessary travel, leading to stronger group business and increased mid-week hotel stays. As evidence, Sacks shared that Delta Airlines’ first quarter 2023 bookings to date were stronger than those in the first quarter of 2019.
- Multiple speakers from STR, Kalibri Labs, and CBRE predicted that hotel revenues would grow in 2023 between 3% and 6% even with a recession, thanks to occupancy gains and continued Average Daily Rate growth. STR expects nearly all chain scales to see revenue growth in 2023.
Takeaways from the Hunter Hotel Conference
One of the conference’s panels discussed hotel construction and design and how the next generation will influence design implementation. One example was how guests’ desire for sustainability and wellness-driven experiences is influencing hotel concepts and increasing the demand for guest room fitness equipment.
Panelists from Hilton and IHG described their push to refresh hotels that deferred renovations during the pandemic. Although they were willing to extend deadlines due to economic hardships at the time, hotel brands are planning to enforce Property Improvement Plans (PIPs) going forward. At Innvision, we use our learnings and connections from the Hunter Hotel Conference to benefit our clients and their projects.
With brands’ stated desire to see their franchisees renovate their properties, now would be an excellent time for hotel owners and operators to begin discussions with one of our design and procurement consultants. If you’re ready to start your hotel project, contact us today!