The forecasts show that the deterioration in leisure and business travel is accelerating as corporations and consumers contend with higher food prices, declining home values, job losses and scarce credit.

Chief Executive Officer Frits van Paasschen, one year into the job, has responded to the economic decline by cutting employees, shutting sales centers and trimming expenses at Starwood's Sheraton and Westin hotels.

"Recent news about the economy suggests that 2009 lodging operating performance in the U.S. will be worse than our previous expectation,'' S&P said today in a statement.

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