Several important articles appeared recently in publications that we follow as part of our hospitality consulting updates to advise clients as their management experts. Of particular interest are the announcements by Expedia, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Travel Week on the domestic and international travel front. The other two are from Jones Lang LaSalle and Marriott on commercial real estate gains and projected investor returns. Dollar Signs Of particular note is the U.S. Department of Commerce announcement that for the first seven months of 2010, 33.8 million international visitors traveled to the United States, a 12 percent increase over the same period in 2009. Coupled with that announcement was the reported growth of Expedia’s income to 51% in the third quarter, and the most dominant of the OTAs (online travel agencies). Added to the noteworthy news by Wyndam was that the recovering economy and cost controls helped it increase revenues 5% and realize a larger-than-expected third-quarter profit increase. On the commercial real estate front are annoucements from Jones Lang LaSalle about its third-quarter profit soaring 88% on revenue and margin growth. Marriott International also annouced plans to return billions to its investors starting in 2013, another sign of the hotel company’s growth and profit gains, and a signal to clients as part of our hospitality consulting update that other hotel companies may experience similar gains starting in 2011 and beyond. Links to the full articles are available here: International visitation up 12 percent for U.S. Expedia 3Q Profit Jumps 51% As Revenue Up; Results Top Views Wyndham tops expectations, cites stronger economy Jones Lang LaSalle 3Q Profit Up 88% On Higher Revenue, Margins Marriott International to return billions to investors The take aways from these company statements suggest there that the recession in travel and lodging is ending. Also, and going forward in 2011, travel increases will induce more hotel demand which in turn is a precursor to room rates improving. This ultimately translates to higher RevPars (revenue-per-available-rooms). In essence, income and real estate values from a hospitality consulting perspective are ready to improve to levels consistent with pre-recession activity before 2007.