by Michael J. Shapiro | October 05, 2011

TravelClick, which offers business intelligence, marketing and technology solutions to hoteliers, is forecasting strong demand and solid performance from U.S. hotels over the next year. According to the company's September 2011 North American Hospitality Review, committed occupancy is up 2 percent through Aug. 31, 2012, with a 4.8 percent year-over-year increase in average daily rate and a forecasted 6.1 percent rise in revenue per available room. Business travel is continuing to drive hotel performance, noted the report. In terms of committed occupancy increases, the five strongest U.S. markets are Detroit (up 10.5 percent), Indianapolis (up 10.2 percent), Philadelphia (up 6.9 percent), Seattle (up 6.1 percent) and Chicago (up 5.2 percent). Meanwhile, Moody's Investor Services downgraded its outlook last week for the U.S. lodging and cruise industries, lowering the grade from positive to stable. The move was prompted by sluggish economic growth that is likely to lower travel demand sometime next year, according to the company, despite the industries' currently strong performance. Revenue per available room and hotel profits are expected to continue to increase in 2011, with gains of more than 7 percent, exceeding Moody's previous estimates. However, because of a lag between industry performance and changes in economic conditions, Moody's said the pace of growth will slow in 2012. "We estimate RevPAR growth will slow to 3 percent to 7 percent, leading to industry profits of 2 percent to 6 percent," said vice president/senior credit officer Margaret Holloway, in a statement. Very limited supply growth, she added, will support continued revenue growth, albeit at a slower pace. The relatively slow pace of average daily rate increases also contributed to the downgraded outlook.