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Marriott CEO says leisure travel will rebound as vaccines roll out, but business travel will return too


The hospitality business has been struggling as tourism dried up throughout the pandemic, but as Covid vaccine distribution good points headway, Marriott CEO Tony Capuano expects business will bounce again.

“As the vaccine gets widely distributed, we see pretty strong and steady prospects for demand growth,” Capuano advised CNBC Wednesday.

Capuano was just lately tapped as the resort chain’s CEO, following the dying of its former chief Arne Sorenson on Feb. 15. Sorenson had been battling pancreatic most cancers.

Capuano has been with Marriott for 25 years and previous to being appointed CEO was the top of worldwide growth the place he grew Marriott’s portfolio together with manufacturers like Fairfield and Residence Inn. Limited service resorts stay one in all Marriott’s most profitable manufacturers, even throughout the pandemic.

However, Wall Street analysts say the actual key for Marriott will be the resumption of business travel. Sixty p.c of Marriott’s bookings in 2019 have been from business vacationers. Since extra firms now are adapting to distant workplaces, some business watchers are fearful the pattern will dent the resort business endlessly, but not Capuano.

He declined to offer a timeline for when business travel will return in earnest. However, Marriott’s clients have advised the corporate that they are “anxious to get out there and be face to face with their business partners and customers,” Capuano mentioned.

However, leisure travel will probably lead the restoration, he mentioned.

Marriott is the most important hotelier with 1.four million visitor rooms worldwide. Average occupancy throughout the resort business within the U.S. at the moment stands at 48%, the very best since October.

Global markets like China are seeing some rebound already, as the nation tailored shortly to include the virus and administer vaccines, he mentioned.

One vivid spot inside travel throughout the pandemic: trip leases.

Unlike different lodging firms, Marriott made the plunge into rental properties in 2019, launching Home & Villas. Capuano mentioned its platform now has 25,000 properties. Rival Airbnb has over 5 million energetic listings.

“I don’t ever anticipate us being anywhere close to the scale of Airbnb,” mentioned Capuano.

Airbnb will launch its first quarterly earnings report as a public firm on Thursday afternoon. Its shares have had a stellar efficiency since going public, up almost 200% to a market worth of greater than $120.34 billion, greater than double that of Marriott.

Marriott shares hit a 52-week excessive of $157.60 in buying and selling Wednesday, and closed up 5% at $157.50. With a achieve of almost 17% over the previous yr, Marriott has a market worth of about $51.1 billion.

In addition to competing in opposition to disruptors like Airbnb within the travel business, Capuano inherits the powerful job of being in comparison with Sorenson, who was deeply revered throughout the business and was identified for being a compassionate chief.



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