Outlook Good for Leisure Travel Industry, According to Ryman CEO
07/10/2013 | by Mitch Irzinski

Colin Reed, chairman and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview in Chicago at REITWeek 2013: NAREIT’s Investor Forum.

Ryman Hospitality Properties specialises in group-oriented, destination hotel assets in urban and resort markets.

Reed shared his opinion regarding the potential impact of sequestration on the hospitality industry going forward. Reed said government spending cutbacks this year led to between 12,000 to 15,000 room nights being canceled for his company.

“We’ve only got 20,000 more room nights for all government business at all of our hotels on the books for the rest of this year, and basically 6,000 for next, so very little impact for us this year and next year,” Reed said. “But I think for the meetings industry, it is an issue.”

Reed went on to discuss the state of the leisure travel industry.

“I think the long way for leisure is very, very healthy—very good indeed,” he said. “We’re seeing a substantial increase in foreign tourism, people coming to America. We have all of the initiatives of the United States Travel Association to promote America outside of America. All of this is good. We have folks in this country wanting to have short breaks, and we’re seeing our leisure business increase materially month over month.”

Reed also described the benefits his company is seeing from its affiliation with worldwide lodging company Marriott International.

“The long-term benefits to us we see as very exciting,” he said. “We expect to get a lot of leisure business though their frequent flier program, which is one of the biggest in the world, if not the biggest in the world. They just have more contacts with the corporate community than we did historically, so we see a better fit there.  And we believe over time the way they go about managing technology and their systems, we should see a reduction in costs in our business. So, we’re very excited about this.”