March 31, 2011

Marriott sees soft demand in North America


Marriott's Chief Financial Officer Carl Berquist says business is picking up overseas but that demand in North America is less than expected and the hotel operator believes revenue per available room will come in at the low end of its guidance.

Companies and consumers have started to spend on trips again, but the recovery has been slow, particularly in the U.S. where consumers are still dealing with high unemployment and a dismal housing market.

Berquist said North American revenue per available room growth has been modestly lower than expected. Softness has been evident in large group hotels in locations including New York, Atlanta, Orlando, Fla. and Washington D.C.

Overall North American revpar growth is strong year-over-year, and Marriott is predicts first-quarter North American revpar will rise 5 percent to 6 percent. But the performance is considerably better abroad, with international revpar likely to increase 11 percent in the first quarter.

Get the full story at Bloomberg Businessweek

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