European Hotels Booming
Lodging Econometrics (LE), trackers of global hotel-build trends, says that Europe will see 949 projects and 163,919 guestrooms under construction in 2008.
• Flagship brands from the major global companies populate the "Construction Pipeline": Hilton Hotels; InterContinental and Crowne Plaza from IHG; Radisson SAS; Starwood's W and Sheraton; Marriott and Renaissance. Of equal significance are their mid-market hotels: Hilton Garden Inn, Doubletree and Hampton Inns from the Hilton Family; Holiday Inn and Express by Holiday Inn from IHG; Rezidor's Park Inn and Marriott's Courtyard.
• Hotel occupancies are in the high 60's and 70's, at or near peak levels in many urban centers and resort destinations.
• Despite this growth, however, the weakening economy is beginning to impact the lodging industry. Operating statistics first began to show weakness in November and December and again in January. As a result, it's expected that by mid-2008, the number of new projects may decline. European Guest Room Openings
Aruba Expects Continued Growth for 2008
ARUBA RELEASED ITS 2007 CRUISE STATISTICS, which include an impressive 316 cruise calls and 404,721 passengers. The 2006/2007 cruise season (from October to April) saw 277 port calls—up 49 from the previous season—and 449,298 visitors making landfall. January of last year saw a notable increase over 2006, with 13 additional calls, for a total of 45, and over 5,800 additional passengers. Aruba is also expecting 2008 to be successful. In January, the island welcomed 53 cruise ships to its Port of Oranjestad in the capital city. And, in the first four months of 2008, Aruba expects to see close to 200 calls to the island. Visit www.aruba.com.