Marriott CFO: Corporate Clients Booking Twice the U.S. Room Nights from Spring – Business Travel News

Marriott International now is selling to corporate customers in the United States twice as many nights and booking twice as many nights than it was in April and May, Marriott SVP and CFO Leeny Oberg said Monday during the J.P. Morgan Gaming, Lodging, Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum 2020.

“That’s clearly an example where there is more comfort in traveling,” she said. “It’s still definitely higher on the drive-to [markets] than on the flying, but it is steadily improving demand.”

Additionally, the Covid-19 pandemic might not have the substantial effect on 2021 corporate hotel negotiations as might be expected, she added. 

“Clearly, there will be pockets where demand is so low that there it’s going to result in a different special corporate rate next year,” Oberg said. “But I would say in general that what you’re seeing toward the upper end is that rates have held in relatively better than you might expect given the incredible drop in [revenue per available room]. 

“So, in many respects, you will see that the rate negotiations reflect ‘steady as she goes,’ but also the reality that if a hotel has super-low occupancy, that the corporate customers are going to benefit from that.”

Negotiations now are centered more on room night volume than room rate, Oberg said. Further, she said corporate clients have told her that their travelers are at different levels of comfort with the pandemic.

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