Most hotel executives and investors expect healthy occupancy and revenue levels to continue through 2007, according to a survey of more than 170 hospitality executives, investors and real estate professionals attending the New York University 27th Annual International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference held in New York this week.

Optimism dominated the conference and survey results reflected the extent of continued expectations: 54 percent said the market will sustain occupancy and revenue levels through 2007, and 20 percent expect the momentum to continue through 2008.

"The business customer has come back," Carlson Hospitality Worldwide president and CEO Curtis Nelson told conference attendees.

Just over half of survey respondents cited the business travel rebound, while 27 percent cited pent-up demand as the primary factors for a "faster than anticipated recovery of the U.S. hotel industry back to 2000 levels."

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