by Michael J. Shapiro | February 11, 2015
The 55 major U.S. markets covered by PKF Hospitality Research should achieve record hotel occupancy for 2014, and continue to set new records for the next two years, according to a forecast from the company. The consultants are expecting an aggregate occupancy of 70.4 percent for those major cities when the final 2014 numbers are tallied, followed by 70.8 percent in 2015 and 71.4 percent in 2016, according to Robert Mandelbaum, director of research information services at PKF-HR, in a column in Hotel Management. The previous peak occupancy was 69 percent, reported in 1996 by STR. Thanks to the record high occupancy levels, hotels in these major markets will exert their pricing power: The annual increases to average daily rate in 2014 and 2015 are expected to be more than twice the long-run annual average. In addition, the rate increases in those major markets are expected to exceed the national average in 2014 and 2015.