Summer travel redux II

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had yet another report on high hotel prices this summer. While evidently true, the report is an example of journalism at its sloppiest worst. It quotes Price Waterhouse Cooper’s Bjorn Hanson as saying “Room rates in New York, which has been attracting more tourists in the last several years, stand to increase as much as 15%” – not very different to “high- end resorts” where rates are expected to “rise as much as 15% this summer”. But in a slant that almost is certain to scare travelers intending to travel to New York the WSJ report quotes an individual traveler as saying “he couldn’t find a room in a hotel he wanted for under about $600 a night. He says he was paying about $350 last year for comparable lodging. “I just can’t get over the prices,”. If one were to do the math, that represents a nearly 75% increase and not the 15% that one can expect in the Big Apple. Individual hotels may have a different outcome on a particular day or week, but absolutely no one has managed to increase prices by 75% – were that the case, there would be a rush to the development gates in New York City. Also misleading in the same report is an example of a $99 “deal” in the Hyatt Grand Champions, Indian Wells, CA. Anyone, who has been to Indian Wells in the June through August period knows that you can fry an egg on the road in the desert heat during those months. Hardly a deal.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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