No room at the inn

Yesterday’s Financial Times has a supplement on the “Global Traveller”. Among the couple of articles devoted to the hotel industry is one headlined “Not enough rooms at the inns”. Moaning “soaring hotel prices and a desperately short supply of rooms in many big cities”, the article written almost entirely from the travel management companies viewpoint and notes the double digit percentage increases in average rates with Moscow supposedly being the most expensive. Mumbai (Bombay) in India apparently increased by 49% and New York was up by 15%. The article quotes Margaret Bowler of HRG, a UK based travel management company as saying that “it always shocks the hotel industry when suddenly the business is gone. Eventually they will be back with their begging bowls and courting people again”! Ms. Bowler apparently was no fly in the wall at this conference in Memphis where industry leaders were talking of business cycles in “more than a whisper”. Nor is she likely to acknolwedge that neither HRG or anyone else in the travel business doled out any largesse during the dowturn that ended in 2004.

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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.