by Michael J. Shapiro | June 09, 2010

The global hotel industry is showing strong signs of recovery, indicated Mark Lomanno, president of Smith Travel Research/STR Global, during a presentation Monday at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York City. STR statistics show that demand is back, and increased occupancy is driving growth in revenue per available room. That growth is stronger outside the U.S., however, as stateside hoteliers continue to discount room rates. As such, the rate growth will determine the magnitude of the recovery. In the U.S., STR currently is forecasting a 3.6 percent growth in occupancy for 2010 and a 3 percent rise in RevPAR. The company expects the average daily rate to remain nearly flat, with an 0.6 percent decrease for the year. Demand is expected to outpace supply, with a 5.7 percent increase in demand vs. a 2.0 percent growth for supply. The growth will be led by the luxury and upper upscale segments, according to Lomanno, which is "a textbook recovery." STR is projecting increases in all three performance metrics for 2011: a 2.5 percent rise in occupancy, a 3.9 percent jump in average daily rate and a 6.5 percent hike in RevPAR.