Skift Take

Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian is finally seeing his valuable corporate guests returning. He says bookings everywhere but Asia are "booming."

Series: Skift Global Forum 2023

Skift Global Forum was held in New York City on September 26-28, 2023. Read coverage of the event at the link below.

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Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian has grown more positive about business travel in recent weeks, now saying he is seeing a business transient and corporate booking business returning to his properties. Hoplamazian confirmed that business transient bookings are up in New York City, while corporate bookings, in everywhere but Asia, are “booming.”

“Our business transient booking levels in New York are 20% over 2019 levels for October. We all know one month does not a trend make. I’m not going to pretend it will look like that forever. But neither is it true that business travel be permanently reduced by 50% for all major corporations in the U.S.,” said Hopamazian at the Skift Global Forum 2023 on Wednesday.

Historically, Hyatt had seen around 75% of its business from corporate travel and the rest from leisure. As leisure development, especially in five-star properties has surged, Hyatt has moved with the times. This tried-and-true corporate guest base is still the lifeblood of Hyatt for now, Hoplamazian believes.

He said: “Group bookings are booming at this point. That’s happening in so many companies. The power of human connection cannot be underestimated. Human-to-human connections makes creativity work, it elevates the human spirit. That will sustain travel.”

Hospitality Must Be Open to Hiring Low-Skill Workers

Hoplamazian – who loved talking about the “empathetic” nature of hospitality – stressed the power of the industry in changing peoples’ lives. In this fashion, Hoplamazian echoed the sentiments of Hilton’s Chris Nassetta on Tuesday.

Hoplamazian spoke about the group’s RiseHY program to get people from underprivileged backgrounds into work.

Launched five years ago, as part of the initiative, Hyatt hotels around the world commit to hiring 10,000 Opportunity Youth – people ages 16 to 24 who are neither in school nor working – by 2025.  

He said: “One of the things we all experience in different places around the world, is there are a number of different realities for individuals, especially for those living in underserved communities. We see that stark contrast. You’ve got a lot of underserved people, a gap in income, a gap in wealth, and a gap in opportunity.”

RiseHY is an extension of Hyatt’s enduring dedication seen across its global network of hotels, with numerous establishments already fostering partnerships with community-based organizations that offer vocational training and career preparedness initiatives.

The CEO added: “In our business, when I think about future-proofing hospitality, caring for communities is key. Helping those who are most disadvantaged by getting them into jobs. Hospitality has so many opportunities to get people with such limited skill sets or no skills and develop them and give them successful careers.

“We made a commitment to hire 10,000 by 2025 [through RiseHY] and we’re seeing how to leverage that further and at a higher rate. We as an industry can do this and it can make a huge impact in the world.”

Skift Global Forum 2023 Coverage

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Tags: hospitality news, hotel news, hyatt, Hyatt Hotels, mark hoplamazian, sgf2023, skift global forum 2023

Photo credit: Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian (L) on stage at Skift Global Forum on September 27, 2023.

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