The Delta variant didn’t evade major hotel companies from profitability on their most recent quarter. Barring some massive pandemic setback, many of these optimistic outlooks are possible.
The U.S. reopening its borders to vaccinated non-citizens from 33 countries Monday offered a major jolt of optimism to the global travel industry. Hotel CEOs expect more.
The CEOs of IHG Hotels & Resorts, Accor, Marriott International, BWH Hotel Group, and Hilton spoke Monday at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference on a panel regarding the state of the hotel industry. Much of the discussion focused on the recovery, development trends, and issues surrounding the labor shortage crisis and operations.
But the recovery momentum underway is enough for almost all these CEOs to have a rosy outlook for next year. Here are their predications in their own words, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
IHG Hotels & Resorts CEO Keith Barr
“A record [second quarter and third quarter] for the U.S.”
Accor CEO Sebastien Bazin
“I simply don’t know. I’m depending on vaccination rates and government officials, and I hate it,” Bazin said in reference to stringent travel restrictions in China and Australia.
Accor doesn’t have a strong presence in the U.S., which Bazin signaled in recent months is making his company perform worse than its competitors during the recovery.
Marriott International CEO Anthony Capuano
“I think business transient is going to shock us all to the upside. Business transient is going to roar back in a way that will defy some of the really downward prognostications.”
BWH Hotel Group CEO David Kong
“The fundamentals of our respective countries’ economies are very strong. And if you think about what causes a downturn, it’s primarily the pandemic. Think about the fact that we have got testing in place. We have vaccines in place; although, it may not be at what doctors would like to see, but then you have therapeutics. So, all that bodes well for the company, and I think next year is going to be a banner year. I’m quite sure that, by the end of next year, we will be back at 2019 levels.”
Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta
“In [the third quarter] of 2022, globally, we’ll eclipse the peak of 2019.”
Photo credit: The CEOs of IHG Hotels & Resorts, Accor, Marriott International, BWH Hotel Group, and Hilton on stage at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference Monday. Stephen Hausler / NYU