Tourism: Cautious Optimism

By OJ Robinson, CBI

There are several signs that give area hospitality properties reason for cautious optimism for the near future.

After a 2009 summer season that was disappointing for most area operators, a recent survey suggests that leisure travel will improve during the holiday and winter seasons. According to a recent press release from Deloitte:

“While the tourism, hospitality and leisure (THL) sector continues to be challenged by current economic conditions, a new survey from Deloitte suggests reason for cautious optimism heading into the holiday and winter travel season.

Deloitte’s survey of 2,000 consumers in the United States revealed that almost half (45 percent) will take a vacation or leisure trip that involves staying overnight in a lodging facility, such as a hotel, motel or a timeshare, from the beginning of Thanksgiving week through March of next year.”

Read the entire press release and survey results here.

I find it encouraging that 70% of the respondents said they plan to travel as much, or more, than they did during this same period last year. However, the majority of these travelers plan to spend the same, or less, than a year ago. Our industry will continue to be challenged with rates and occupancy that remain lower than before the recession, but we are seeing the signs of a turn-around.

For those of us that do business in New Hampshire

New Hampshire was again ranked 7th nationally for the State Business Tax Climate. This is a very statistical analysis by the Tax Foundation that helps legislators and business executives understand the total tax burden put on businesses as compared to all other states.

Other New England states ranked as follows:

State Ranking
New Hampshire 7
Maine 34
Massachusetts 36
Connecticut 38
Vermont 41
Rhode Island 44

An executive summary of the Tax Foundation report can be found here.

I hope you find this article informative and helpful. Let’s hope for some cooperative weather and a  busy winter season!