Every sector of business, including hospitality, faces momentous challenges stemming from the global recession. Occupancy is suffering, and all indications are that the deterioration will persist for quite some time. The latest Blue Chip Economic Indicators Report, a composite forecast of 52 economists, projects the worst recession since World War II with an upturn not beginning until late 2009. Some predict it may take longer.

PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates 2009 average U.S. hotel occupancy will fall to 56.5% - a decline of 5.2% from 2008 and the lowest in more than 20 years. More importantly PwC projects RevPAR to decline 11.2% this year. It is hard to imagine any hotel getting through this year unscathed. In fact, many hotels will see occupancy and RevPar decline much more than the 5.2% and 11.2% averages predicted by PwC.

There will be a substantial number of underperforming hotels in the months ahead. Likewise there will also be hotels that perform significantly above the PwC ?norms.? While occupancy and revenue for these hotels may dip, it will be significantly less than competitors and their subsequent recovery from this recession will be much quicker. These hotels will capture more than their fair share of profitable customers still traveling.

How will this be accomplished? What are these overachieving hotels doing to outperform competition? One of the answers can be found in the way they approach marketing.

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