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Marriott bounces back as activity in China surges

UPDATED: Fri., Nov. 6, 2020

This photo from March 11, 2020, shows the Marriott Long Wharf hotel in Boston. Marriott says it saw dramatic improvement in the third quarter as travel demand rebounded in China.  (Associated Press)
This photo from March 11, 2020, shows the Marriott Long Wharf hotel in Boston. Marriott says it saw dramatic improvement in the third quarter as travel demand rebounded in China. (Associated Press)
By Dee-Ann Durbin Associated Press

Marriott saw dramatic improvement in the third quarter as travel demand rebounded in China.

But Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson said the recovery remains bumpy, and reinstated lockdowns in Europe and elsewhere could clip bookings.

“Even in China, where there is a much broader sense that COVID is under control, it is not irrelevant yet,” Sorenson said Friday on a conference call with investors.

Average occupancy at hotels in China hit 61% during the quarter, down just 10% from a year ago. That has roared back from February, when occupancy stood at 9%.

In September, hotel occupancy in China reached 67%, which was actually higher than last year.

Sorenson said leisure travelers who might usually go abroad are staying in China, boosting occupancy rates. Business and group demand is weaker, partly because international business travel – which normally accounts for 25% of Marriott’s business in China – is down significantly.

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