Europe's summer travel surge has been a boon to hotel giants Marriott
International and Hilton, with both companies crediting the return of
international travel to Europe as a key revenue driver during the second
a 2 August call with analysts, Marriott CFO Leeny Oberg said that
Europe had "the swiftest RevPAR recovery of all of our regions this
year". She added that Marriott's RevPAR in Europe surpassed 2019 levels
in June, marking a 57-percentage-point increase from January.
Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta echoed Oberg's sentiments during Hilton's
second-quarter earnings call in late July, calling the region's swift
comeback "a big surprise".
"Europe's on fire, with a huge surge in business," Nassetta said. "Europe is now trending above 2019."
Chris Nassetta, CEO, Hilton
Europe's on fire, with a huge surge in business. Europe is now trending above 2019.
In addition to European demand, a material improvement in business
travel and group demand helped bolster both companies in the quarter,
particularly in markets like the US and Canada.
According to Nassetta, Hilton saw US business travel RevPAR surpass
prior peak levels in June thanks to a return in demand "across all
industries", while group bookings similarly started to rebound during
"Group mix is beginning to normalise with the percentage of company
meetings increasing," said Nassetta. "Bookings for company meetings
strengthened each month of the quarter, with tentative pipeline for the
year up materially versus 2019."
Marriott CEO Tony Capuano expressed a similarly bullish outlook
around group demand, telling investors that for the month of June,
Marriott's US and Canada group RevPAR was down just 1% compared with
June 2019; by contrast, it had been down 17% in March.
Capuano characterised the acceleration in corporate travel, however, as "more moderate" in pace.
Tony Capuano, CEO, Marriott
The small- and medium-sized businesses are back above 2019 levels of volume. The bigger corporate customers, they are not quite back yet...
"The small- and medium-sized businesses are back above 2019 levels of
volume," said Capuano. "The bigger corporate customers, they are not
quite back yet, but even there we continue to see steady improvement,
albeit not necessarily as rapid as we might like."
Meanwhile, both Nassetta and Capuano highlighted a blending of
business and leisure travel, known as bleisure or blended travel, as a
trend to watch.
Capuano said that corporate and association meetings planners are
starting to inquire about making the booking of bleisure travel more
"They've asked us from a technology perspective to do everything we
can to make it easier for them to tack on a couple of leisure days to
their reservation pre- or post-meeting, which was just another
confirmation that this blended trip [trend] will likely endure well
beyond the end of the pandemic," Capuano added.
Source: Travel Weekly