UNH unveils economic index for the lodging industry

The University of New Hampshire said Friday that it is launching a quarterly economic index that will help the lodging industry conduct short- and long-range planning.

Titled the Lodging Executive Sentiment Index, or LESI, the index will be managed by UNH’s Department of Hospitality Management at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics.

The index will be based on surveys of 20 lodging executives representing companies with more than 2.5 million hotel rooms across the United States—more than 55 percent of all US rooms, UNH said.

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Nelson Barber, associate professor of hospitality management at the Whittemore School, will oversee the index and conduct the analyses; the analysis of the third quarter of 2012 will be published later this year, UNH said.

“The importance of LESI is that it will provide lodging executives and managers, as well as executives in other industries, an early glimpse at the direction of the overall lodging industry beyond their own properties and markets, specifically retail sales, employment, interest rates, and stock prices, thereby helping them in operational and planning decisions,” Barber said in a statement.