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How CFOs are forecasting the financial state of the hospitality industry

In a recent hospitality industry survey, CFOs reveal key challenges, solutions and financial performance expectations.

In brief
  • Key aspects of the economic and geopolitical environment continue to weigh on the minds of industry executives.
  • A steadily growing pent-up demand for travel is contributing to top line performance, despite higher average daily rates and fewer amenities.
  • Labor shortages are creating operational challenges and hotel transaction activity is forecasted to slow in 2023.

The hotel industry has been nimble in reacting to outside pressures to get its financial performance back on track. But more challenges lie ahead, and the industry will need even more creativity to continue its recovery.

To gain more details on this important topic, the New York University School of Professional Studies’ Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality (NYU) and Ernst & Young LLP (EY) recently conducted their 2023 Hospitality Executive Financial Survey, gleaning responses from Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) at 30 leading travel and hospitality companies.

Download How CFOs are forecasting the financial state of the hospitality industry

Economic and geopolitical environment


CFOs indicated interest rates, recession and the labor market were their top three concerns within the economic and geopolitical environment. The survey also revealed their company’s forecasted revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth relative to 2022 performance.


Top line performance


While consumers confront higher average daily rates (ADRs) and even fewer amenities, which now come at a price, there still seems to be a steadily growing pent-up demand for travel. In addition to the top three factors driving RevPAR performance in 2023, CFOs also shared what they expected to be the key drivers of Rev PAR growth this year.




While RevPAR recovery is exceeding expectations, labor shortages are still creating challenges for hotels. The hospitality industry is adapting to meet these challenges by adjusting amenities, outsourcing more, and increasing reliance on technology. One hundred percent of respondents indicated that hotel companies will re-institute all brand standards, including requirements to complete deferred capital expenditures, by 2025. CFOs also shared the top three industry trends causing the most strain on hotel net operating income and tactics that companies are implementing to minimize the impact of operational challenges.


Transactions and capital markets


Hotel transaction activity is forecast to slow in 2023 because of inflationary impacts and the rising cost of debt due to interest rate increases. In addition to making deals more expensive, rising interest rates could boost pricing expectations for sellers, potentially putting deals out of reach for prospective buyers. Sixty percent of respondents noted that they expect minimal hotel asset transactions in 2023. Expectations for this year’s hotel transaction volume relative to last year and top factors impacting transactions this year were also shared by CFO respondents.


For more details on the financial pulse of the hospitality industry, click here to see the full results of the NYU and EY 2023 Hospitality Executive Financial Survey.

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