Early in July, the hospitality industry was rocked by Marriott International's announcement that second-quarter profits fell by 24 percent and that revenue per available room (RevPar) would decrease by 1 percent in the United States in 2008. Two weeks later Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide lowered its annual revenue projections and announced its second-quarter profits had fallen by 16 percent. “Business conditions have deteriorated in the U.S.,” said Marriott International Chairman ...

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