AH&LA Lodging Industry Profile Charts Hotel Profits, Sales and International Arrivals

  • AH&LA
  • 10.27.09
For 2008, the U.S. lodging industry posted pre-tax profits of $25.8 billion – down from $28 billion in 2007 – and $140.6 billion in sales – a rise from $139.4 billion in 2007, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) Lodging Industry Profile (LIP), an annual statistical analysis of the industry.

This $140.6 billion contributed to an overall $770 billion in tourism sales*, with resident and international travelers’ expenditures in the Unietd States estimated at $2.1 billion/day; $88 million/hour; $1.5 million/minute; and $24,500/second. 

The percentage of international travelers to the United States was a record 58 million, up from 56 million in 2007; arrivals from overseas travelers in particular jumped 6 percent to total 25.3 million.  The top 10 countries in terms of U.S. arrivals for 2008 were Canada (18.9 million), the United Kingdom (4.6 million), Japan (3.2 million), Germany (1.8 million), France (1.2 million), Italy (779,000), Brazil (769,000), South Korea (759,000), and Australia (690,000).  These 10 countries accounted for 80 percent of U.S. international visitors.

The steady rise in hospitality profits over the past several years is attributed to a variety of sources, including the industry’s ability to raise room rates – an average of $106.84 in 2008, up from $103.87 in 2007 – in response to increased demand from both leisure and business travelers and the availability of new hotel product. 

Other facts found in the LIP:

  • A detailed breakdown of the 49,505 U.S. hotels by room number, size, location, and nightly rate.
  • The travel and tourism industry pays $194 billion in travel-related wages and salaries and employs 1.4 million hotel property workers.
  • Statistics on promotional spending for tourism for the 2007-2008 fiscal year, including state totals contributing to the $868.8 million spent nationally – California increased tourism budgets by 137 percent and Texas increased theirs by 110 percent.
  • Profiles of the typical lodging consumer’s leisure stay (57 percent of all travelers’ stays; categorized by two adults ages 35-54, who spend an average of one night paying a rate of $112) vs. a typical business travelers stay (43 percent of all travelers’ stays; most likely to be spent by a sole male age 35-54, for three or more nights at a rate of $125).

"The positive numbers illustrate that interest from both United States and international travelers translated into real dollars supporting a strong tourism product in 2008,” said AH&LA president/CEO Joseph A. McInerney, CHA.  “However, with the softening of the economy in Q4 of 2008 and into 2009, our industry will see an end to our six-year streak of increased profitability.”

AH&LA’s LIP provides a comprehensive, easy-to-read list of these and other significant facts about the lodging, travel, and tourism industries, including employment impact; international travel statistics; and property and room breakdowns by location, rate, and size.  In addition, AH&LA has created fact sheets about the industry's economic footprint in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  The one-page fact sheet gives a quick overview of the lodging industry in each state. Based on industry and governmental statistics, the documents describe total lodging jobs, employee wages, direct sales, tax revenue and number of lodging properties. A national overview of the industry using similar statistics is also provided on each sheet.  The complete 2009 AH&LA Lodging Industry Profile, as well as the state fact sheets are available on AH&LA’s Information Center Web page.

Information contained in the LIP is based on 2008 data provided by D.K. Shifflet & Associates, Ltd.; Smith Travel Research; Travel Industry Association of America; Bureau of Labor Statistics; U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries and Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Figures for year-end 2009 will be available in fall 2010. 

*excludes spending on U.S. airlines by international travelers

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