Fed Report: Atlanta, San Francisco Seeing More Business Travel Activity - Business Travel News

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Fed Report: Atlanta, San Francisco Seeing More Business Travel Activity

January 12, 2012 - 02:45 PM ET

By David Jonas

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday reported recent year-over-year business travel growth in Atlanta and San Francisco, and generally improving hotel industry metrics in other areas. In a summary of current economic conditions from its 12 districts, the Fed concluded that "national economic activity expanded at a modest to moderate pace during the reporting period of late November through the end of December."

The Atlanta district experienced higher air travel levels than in the previous year, and higher average hotel occupancy and room rates. "Business travel improved over year-ago levels, although reservations were being made closer to departure dates," according to the report.

Hotel market conditions showed strength in other districts. New York hotels, for example, reported occupancy rates "at just over 85 percent in November and the first few weeks of December—up moderately from a year earlier." New York hotel room rates rose an average of 2 percent to 3 percent. The Boston district projected 2012 hotel revenue per available room would increase as much as 12 percent from 2011.

Not all districts are experiencing a healthy hotel market. "Hotel contacts on the Virginia coast reported that bookings have not increased as expected, owing to the difficult economy and cuts in federal government spending on travel," according to the Fed's report. "One hotel representative noted that government employees are now sharing rooms rather than booking individually. Rates were generally unchanged."

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