Lodging Fundamentals “Very Bullish,” Ashford Executive Says

Conditions across the entire hotel industry are “very healthy,” said Ashford Inc. (NYSE American: AINC) Co-President and Chief Strategy Officer Rob Hays, who was a guest on the latest edition of Nareit’s REIT Report podcast.

Ashford advises two REITs, Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE: AHT), which focuses on the full-service segment, and Braemar Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: BHR), which concentrates more on the luxury sector.

Supply growth is holding firm at around two percent, while demand is staying ahead of that, Hays said. The industry has also seen some occupancy gains, combined with inflationary-type room rate increases, he added.

Hays said Ashford sees healthy conditions in both the consumer and corporate sector: “We’re very bullish right now on the state of the hotel space.”

Meanwhile, Ashford is actively diversifying its income stream by purchasing and incubating best-in-class service businesses for hotels, Hays explained. Their offerings include: audiovisual; mobile and digital key; debt sourcing; hotel concierge and water sport; project management; and health and wellness services.

On the topic of wellness, Hays said increased focus on the trend across the portfolio increases guest satisfaction and improves profitability, given that guests are prepared to pay more for specially-treated, allergy-friendly rooms.