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Marriott CEO Expects Consumers To Blend Leisure, Business Travel

Marriott International CEO Tony Capuano said he thinks the lines between business and leisure travel are becoming more blurred, CNBC reported.

Capuano, talking on “Squawk on the Street,” said the increase in people taking trips has helped the hotel industry in the wake of the pandemic’s devastating effects, according to CNBC. Business trips have not come back as fully as they were pre-pandemic, but Capuano said he thinks that will happen eventually.

To that end, he referenced China, where business travel demand in March was actually 5 percent higher this year than it was at that same time in 2019, CNBC reported.

“The thing that will be interesting to watch, I think it’s going to be less clear what the trip purpose is,” he said, per CNBC. “Increasingly, we’re seeing folks that say, ‘I can blend trip purposes. I can combine leisure with business travel.’ And we think that’s really good news for our hotels across the country.”

Capuano’s comments came after Marriott reported its first quarter earnings results, with adjusted earnings per share of 10 cents topping analyst estimates of 4 cents, CNBC reported, citing FactSet.

Meanwhile, the company reported revenue of $2.32 billion, which was a downturn from the expected $2.38 billion, according to CNBC. Marriott shares were down more than 3 percent on Monday (May 10), trading around $142 per share. The stock was up around 7 percent year to date.

The travel industry’s actual damage has only recently begun to become apparent. PYMNTS reported that there were 62 million jobs lost in the sector across the world, and in the U.S., that number hit around 5.6 million. The contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) globally was halved, sitting at 5.5 percent in 2020, down from 10.4 percent pre-pandemic.

However, for Airbnb, things started to look up after the dismal early start to 2020, and the company began receiving more bookings in the back half of the year and into 2021.

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