With hotel rates and fees on the rise, a bit of good news from the hospitality industry is music to the budget traveler's ears. So it might be a pleasant surprise to hear that in the near future, hotels nationwide are set to become sleeker, swankier, and outfitted with more conveniences than any time in post-recession memory.
New research from Dr. Bjorn Hanson of NYU's Preston Robert Tisch Cente for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management shows that hotels are set to spend $5 billion on amenity improvements in 2012. This will represent a jump of 33% compared to spending in 2011.
Guests can keep an eye out for creature comforts like plusher bedding, tech improvements such as flat-screen televisions and broader high-speed Internet, and aesthetic boosts in hotel restaurants, gyms, and lobbies (where properties are devoting the bulk of their cash). In the luxury market, guests can expect to see high-end amenities such as in-room iPads rolled out at more properties.
After a year of steady increases in hotel rates, what we may be seeing now, according to Hanson, is a bit of the gain from our pain. It's the increased revenue from those higher daily rates, paired with higher occupancy rates, that has allowed hotels across the country to turn their attention to these-in many cases, much-needed-face-lifts.
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