BEIJING: Marriott International has reopened all its hotels in China and is seeing a steady recovery in the United States, its biggest market, Chief Executive Officer Arne Sorenson said on Monday (Jun 1).
Shares of the hotel operator, which owns the Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis luxury brands, rose as much as 8.1 per cent to US$95.64 in afternoon trading after Sorenson said the occupancy rate in China was 40 per cent currently, up from 7 per cent to 8 per cent in February, when COVID-19 started spreading.
"It's not just leisure travel growing, but it is business travel. Chinese are flying again," Sorenson said at a Goldman Sachs conference.
In the United States, Marriott's hotels that remained open crossed the 20 per cent occupancy threshold and continue to see an improvement, Sorenson said.
"The (US) hotels that are performing strongest are those that are most dependent on drive to business."
The company had an occupancy rate of about 12 per cent in North America in April, with 16 per cent of its hotels closed temporarily.
However, Sorenson warned that it could take Marriott a few years to get back to levels of occupancy seen in 2019, when its global occupancy rate was 71 per cent.