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The Industry

Travel and tourism is the nation's largest services export industry, third largest retail sales industry, and one of America's largest employers. In fact, it is the second, or third largest employer in 29 states. The tourism industry includes over 15 interrelated businesses, from lodging establishments, Airlines and restaurants to cruise lines, car rental firms, travel agents, and tour operators. According to a survey conducted by the Travel Industry Association, travel spending by domestic and international visitors in 2008 is forecast to increase 5.2 percent, to $778.2 billion, up from projected full-year 2007 travel spending of $740 billion, which would be a 5.7 percent increase over 2006. Domestic leisure trips are expected to continue an upward trend of modest growth in 2008, climbing 2 percent to 1.6 billion trips. Domestic leisure trips are expected to finish 2007 up 2.5 percent over last year. Travel for business in 2008 is expected to remain stable, increasing by 0.4 percent, registering nearly 502 million trips. This slight increase will offset a projected decline of 1.7 percent in business travel for 2007, compared with a year ago. International travel (including visitors from Canada and Mexico) to the United States is expected to rise 3.7 percent in 2008 to 55.6 million visitors, following a projected 5.1 percent increase for 2007.The lodging industry is a cyclical business and when coming out of a recession, hotels initially see an increase in occupancy, followed by gains in operating expenses, room rates, and finally, profits. In 2005, U.S. Hotels achieved significant increases in occupancy and stronger ADR growth that has translated into record growth in 2006 that began to slow in 2007. In 2008 however slower growth in both categories is expected and Occupancy growth may be peaking now in the cycle. This recovery portion of this cycle is now 4 years old as we probably hit bottom in the fourth quarter of 2003. Demand is slowing but higher ADR and REVPar growth will hold the Industry into continued solid but slower revenue growth in 2008 as the Economy continues to slow and operators deal with higher commodities and energy prices in the face of a consumer with lower disposable income.

Whether you are starting a new Hotel are looking to raise additional capital to expand your currently profitable Hotel/Motel, or looking to evaluate and value your Hotel/Motel to sell, current statistics prove that you will do much better with a business plan than without. According to Dunn and Bradstreet the primary reasons for failure vary, but all of the reasons come under the category of poor planning. You are a part of a 23.8 billion dollar lodging Industry in the United States representing one of the most competitive Industries in the world. Your management decisions will decide whether your Inn survives or thrives in the face of increased competition. The most important benefit of a business plan is that it sets the stage for the future of your business as you want it to be positioned in the marketplace. A business plan will make it easy for your banker to take action as he/she gains insight into the details of your Inn and the goals that you have outlined. Potential investors can review your plan and decide whether or not to make an investment based upon the risk. You will benefit most as you study and gain detailed insight into your own operations. Updating and constantly reviewing your plan will give you more insight as both a manager and decision maker.

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Q: Where can you find examples of a hotel business plan?
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