Current hotel expert updates for the state of the lodging industry bodes well for owners, operators and investors of hotel properties so far this year. Several news reports in the various hotel publications we follow suggest better times have begun. However, there still appears to be caution and pessimism as to whether the economic recovery can sustain itself. Given that the existing unemployment rate in the country is still over 8%, along with major states, such as California where it is still high at 11% plus, the concern amongst hoteliers is valid. Jobs drive economic growth and growth in the economy equates to more money spent on travel and overnight guestroom stays. Here are some news recaps from several of our hotel asset manager peers on both the good and the bad: On a “Good” note from a hotel expert perspective on overnight business travel estimates reported in the Los Angeles Times – “Many business travelers are getting more bang for their travel buck by staying a few extra nights to handle more business instead of making return trips, according to a study by the Global Business Travel Association trade group. “We’re seeing road warriors taking fewer trips but making the most of them, making more stops and spending more on the road,” said Michael W. McCormick, association executive director.” However, the “Bad” news is that this also a U.S. Presidential election year and has many business folks waiting on the sidelines before they intend to do anything until it is over. Many a hotel asset management group expects the overall economy to remain flat until after the Presidential election, which could stymie further occupancy and room rate growth until after next year. Or, at least until the country gets on stable footing with a new Presidential agenda and renewed business optimism. Have a meaningful hotel expert article, news story or blog to share with our readers on the state of the lodging economy going forward? Please post a comment and share a link to it below.