Hotels have started to reduce construction on new additions after years of accelerating growth, but BCA Research does not see this leading to a rebound in room prices or a sign for investors to pick up hotel stocks, either.
"Hotel stocks are not a 'reflation' play," the Montreal-based analysis firm said in a note Friday. "While this is a necessary development to soak up excess capacity, it is far too early to be betting on a recovery in room rates."
Hotels remain a highly discretionary luxury that most people cannot afford with any regularity, recession or not.
Even more troubling for the hotel industry is the fact that major corporations, usually the biggest hotel consumers for conferences, meetings and general schmoozing, have tightened their belts during the credit crisis and show no signs of returning to their free-spending days.
Also, don't forget the intense public scrutiny company executives are under now when spending their expense accounts. Consider the backlash when everybody found out about that AIG spa trip.
"The implication will be a further period of weak pricing power," the note said.
BCA suggests investors stay "underweight" on hotels.