Can it get any better than this? With the industry continuing to achieve unprecedented prosperity with no end in sight, the phrase of the day at the 28th Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference was ‘unbridled exuberance.’

While many industry prognosticators believed profits raked in during 2000 would be a once in a lifetime experience, they were wrong. Now, the stars are aligned like never before which should generate extraordinary industry wide profits for several years to come.

“This is almost like 2000, but better,” said Lalia Rach, Associate Dean from the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University. “Records are falling and will continue to fall.”

With the hotel industry continuing to push rates as occupancies increase, 2005 proved to be a banner year with profits hitting $22.6 billion. This year and 2007 are also expected to be record shattering years while 2008 is also expected to be bouyant.

According to Randy Smith, CEO and co-founder of Smith Travel Research, both supply and demand are growing consistently and he predicts continued strong occupancy and rate growth across all industry categories.

“Never has demand growth been so consistent for so long,” said Smith, who noted industry wide room occupancy is running at 63.5% while ADR has increased 6% during the last 12 months. “As long as demand growth remains constant, the industry can move rates up aggressively.”

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