Randy Smith, co-founder and CEO at STR, explained in his keynote address at the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit that the industry faced good and bad news during the recent economic downturn. During a previous downturn in 1990, hotels reported a pretax loss of $5.7 billion, while occupancy was at 63.5%. Last year, by contrast, hotels posted a pretax income of $16 billion despite an occupancy rate of 54.7%. "Clearly, we are starting to do some things right," Smith said.

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