Despite softening of hotel demand increases in the first half of this year, top hotel executives?speaking today at New York University's 29th Annual International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference?said they remain bullish that the industry will retain its strength for the next few years and beyond. InterContinental Hotels Group CEO Andrew Cosslett told a few thousand hospitality investors and analysts that he expects the industry to be strong through the next decade at least, as new factors in travel have disrupted the usual up and down motion of the industry's cycle.

"Every cycle has an end, but there's definitely some things happening in the world," Cosslett said. "We didn't have the Internet, we didn't have 100 million Chinese people about to arrive on the world travel scene and we didn't have people with 10 years more life expectancy and more money."

The slight dip in demand at the beginning of 2007 caused some major hotel companies to lower revenue expectations. Executives and analysts at the conference, however, said that would turn around throughout the rest of the year, and HVS International chair Lalia Rach said improvement in the overall U.S. economy would provide an additional boost.

Get the full story at BTNonline