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Foreign travelers account for 1 in 7 hotel customers.

Approximately one U.S. hotel room night in ten is now rented to an international visitor. By 1995, that number will reach almost one in seven (13.5 percent), according to Coopers & Lybrand Hospitality Directions, the firm's quarterly research journal. These ratios exclude travelers from Canada and Mexico.

The largest number of international travelers in 1992 came from Europe (8.3 million), which has also shown the fastest growth rate, the journal reports. Only about 3 percent of these were from Eastern Europe, but volume is up 270 percent since 1931 and is expected to continue to rise. Second in number of visitors was the Far East (5.6 million).

Western European travelers also spent the most on lodging (51 percent of the total), followed by the Far East (25.2 percent) and South America (12.1 percent). These figures are based on an analysis of data from the U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration's 1991 Inflight Survey. The visitors with the highest average daily lodging expenditures were from regions where vacations dominate the purpose of trip, in particular, the Far East ($62.90 a day) Australia and Pacific Islands ($59.29), and South America ($56.90). Lodging markets on both U.S. coasts enjoy the largest impact from international arrivals, Coopers & Lybrand Hospitality Directions found. The Middle Atlantic region (which includes New York City, the most popular metropolitan destination) led in 1991 with the highest ratio of international visitors to occupied rooms. The South Atlantic led in terms of absolute number of international visitors (8.8 million), followed by the Middle Atlantic and Pacific regions, each with 4.4 million.

As the U.S. lodging industry expands its international clientele, Hanson explains, the global political economy will become increasingly relevant in predicting cyclical changes in demand for lodging services. He adds that exchange rate changes will affect the relative attractiveness of U.S. versus foreign destinations, while overall demand will largely be determined by the economic health of visitors' domestic economies.

International visitors create new challenges for hoteliers, which may include: accommodating for dietary requirements and religious observances; supplying translation services and interconnections among differing technologies; and providing expanded service hours for meals and operation of business centers for communicating with different time zones.

Coopers & Lybrand Hospitality Directions is a quarterly research journal that gathers and analyzes industry empirical research and financial data, reveals developing industry trends, and provides timely strategic information valuable to hospitality industry lenders, owners, management, investors and attorneys. Each issue includes a 12-quarter forecast based on a unique econometric lodging industry model.
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Title Annotation:Coopers and Lybrand report 'Coopers & Lybrand Hospitality Directions;' includes U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration 1991 report 'Inflight Survey'
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jul 14, 1993
Words:427
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