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Hotel Rates Won't Hit Pre-Recession Levels: Marriott CEO

Hotel room rates are expected to rise by as much as 10 percent next year, but that hike won’t catch up to the declines of the last few years, Marriott International President Arne Sorenson told CNBC Thursday.

“All of us are wrestling in an environment where rates have dropped 20 percent or more like 25 percent,” said Sorenson of the industry as a whole.

“When we talk about coming back up, maybe even 10 percent, it’s a move from this year, but it still leaves us well short of 2007.”

The American Express Business Travel Forecast predicted the hotel rate hike. Another study, from the consulting company Bain & Co., forecast that luxury spending could get back to the higher levels of 2007.

“It [the Bain study] gives some confidence,” said John Scott, president and CEO of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, which owns the high-end Carlyle in New York City as well as Caneel Bay and Jumby Bay in the Caribbean and Las Ventanas in Mexico.

Scott said the company's numbers will be up this year, with a strong Q1 and Q2, a soft summer and a Q4 that is picking up. “It’s fragile, it’s mixed. We’re cautiously optimistic.”

Meanwhile the company is building new hotels in Mexico, Ahu Dhabi and Dubai.

Grace Bay CEO Mark Durliat said his company is using the slow time to train employees and upgrade properties so that when the customers come back in numbers, they will notice the changes.

The company owns properties in the U.S., Argentina, Mexico and St. Lucia.