Why Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt state hotel costs are just increasing

Despite high inflation, a softening economy, and worries of an economic downturn, the hotel market is not seeing any downturn.

It’s the specific reverse, with Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta anticipating that the hotel chain will “have the biggest summer we’ve ever seen in our 103-year history this summer.”

Few markets were struck as tough as travel by the Covid-19 pandemic, which suppressed almost all leisure and company itinerary. But as vaccination rates and loosened up constraints have actually spread out throughout the nation, tourists have actually returned. In May, international leisure and company flights topped 2019 levels for the very first time considering that the pandemic begun.

But while that has actually featured an expense, driven by both the high level of need from travel companions in addition to other inflationary pressures, hotel operators still think there is space to more boost costs.

“The price has gone up for everything, so we’re not different than when you go to a gas pump or the grocery store or any other aspect of life; it’s discretionary,” Nassetta stated on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Monday. 

Nassetta stated that 2 things were keeping need high: the leisure customer’s more than $2.5 trillion in incremental cost savings, and strong business balance sheets coupled with “very good” success.

“They’ve gone two years both from a leisure point of view and a business point of view with meetings and events without being able to do the things that they need to do,” he stated. “They have the availability of discretionary income in both segments to do it and they have the need, and that is being matched with demand.”

Marriott CEO Tony Capuano stated that over Memorial Day weekend the business’s profits per readily available space, which determines hotel efficiency, was up about 25% in 2022 compared to 2019. In Marriott’s high-end portfolio, that includes hotels like JW Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and St. Regis, those hotels saw almost a 30% boost in rates in the very first quarter of 2022 compared to 2019.

“I think as long as we’re delivering on service, which can be challenged in markets where labor is difficult, we continue to see really remarkable pricing,” Capuano stated on “Closing Bell” on Monday. He did keep in mind that while there was “exceedingly strong rate potential” in locations like leisure locations and seaside locations, that the “middle of the country, some of the urban markets have not come back as quickly.” 

Another possible increase to require might come as the Biden administration has actually now dropped Covid-19 screening requirements for air tourists from abroad.

While other nations like the United Kingdom and Greece have actually long raised their requirements, the U.S. still needed tourists to present evidence of an unfavorable Covid-19 test a day prior to boarding a U.S.-bound flight, despite their vaccination status. It was among the last nations still imposing such a guideline.

Executives in the travel market had actually argued that the limitation had actually been harming global travel need. “Requiring pre-departure testing creates uncertainty for travelers, one more hurdle that may lead them to choose a destination with less friction,” Capuano stated in a declaration to CNBC’s Seema Mody.

“The Biden administration is to be commended for this action, which will welcome back visitors from around the world and accelerate the recovery of the U.S. travel industry,” Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association stated in a declaration. “International inbound travel is vitally important to businesses and workers across the country who have struggled to regain losses from this valuable sector.”

Hyatt president and CEO Mark Hoplamazian stated on “Squawk on the Street” on Tuesday that foreign tourists to the U.S. invest a lot more than domestic tourists, which the screening requirements were “creating friction.”

But even without tourists that might have put their journeys on hold provided the requirement, need stays high. “Pretty much across the board, all the business segments and leisure are all firing on all cylinders,” Hoplamazian stated.

Keith Barr, the CEO of IHG Hotels & Resorts which owns brand names like the InterContinental and Holiday Inn, stated that he anticipates need to continue to grow for the remainder of the year as travel is more stabilized post-pandemic.

That will likely include more cost boosts as inflation and other expenses are more factored in.

“The demand is so strong … we’re having the ability to price, but in fact, we haven’t even been keeping pace with inflation,” Barr stated on “Closing Bell” on Tuesday. “There’s still some pricing power in this business moving forward, and demand will continue to come through the summer.”

Those costs will likely just grow as there will be “very little incremental new capacity coming into the industry,” Nassetta stated.”The laws of supply and demand, laws of economics, are alive and well,” he stated.


News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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