When the 2008/’09 recession hit, industry analysts predicted it would last — at most — a couple of years and that, by the time 2012 rolled around, the good times would return. That was then. But, as we painfully learned, this past recession has been far from typical and its duration longer than anyone could have ever anticipated.
In fact, there are hoteliers and analysts alike who would argue the fallout of that lingering recession is still being felt today. Some would even hazard to say, we’re not out of the woods yet. Still, though recovery hasn’t been as buoyant and prolific as we would have liked it to be, most hoteliers surveyed in this year’s Top 50 report say 2012 was a solid, if not a stellar, year. With total sales on this year’s report registering $16.9 billion, up from last year’s $16.8, the industry is moving in the right direction, albeit slower than most hoteliers and pundits would have liked.
Despite the economic constraints, many of this year’s Top 50 still managed to expand their portfolios through conversions and new builds, launch new concepts and strengthen their operating fundamentals. And, barring any unforeseen geopolitical unrest, results for the next year look even more promising.
Illustration by Nathalie Dion