Wage increases, labor availability top HAMA concerns

The Hospitality Asset Managers Association released the results of its Spring 2023 Industry Outlook Survey. The semiannual report collected the opinions, experiences and predictions of more than 80 hotel asset managers concerning the current state of the hospitality industry with particular focus on 2023 forecasts and pre-COVID comparisons. 

The results of the survey, which were conducted in advance of HAMA'S 2023 annual spring meeting on April 20 in San Francisco, were broadcast live with a Q&A segment at the end. In total, 82 asset managers, comprising approximately one-third of membership, participated in the survey. 

“The majority of our membership are looking forward to a positive year, with expectations high for [revenue per available room] and [gross operating profits] to exceed both budgets and 2019 levels,” Derrick Yee, HAMA president and Placemakr vice president of asset management, said in a statement. “Though labor, cost increases and demand are issues to consider, overall, our members appear incredibly optimistic regarding the industry’s near-term future. An overwhelming majority believes the industry will return to 2019 levels across the board within the next one to three years, and it looks like the acquisition market will continue to heat up as the year progresses. Now remains a good time to be a hotelier.”           

Among the more notable findings:

  • The top three issues concerning hotel asset managers are wage increases (65 percent), labor availability (57 percent) and demand (52 percent). This mirrors concerns from the 2022 Fall Conference, when asset managers' concerns were labor availability (86.76 percent), labor costs (85.29 percent) and demand (42.64 percent).
  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of members believe the U.S. economy either already is in or will slip into a recession in 2023.
  • Seventy-four percent (74 percent) of membership actively are pursuing acquisitions.
  • More than half (59 percent) of members neither have nor are contemplating a management or brand change.