Marriott Rides Leisure Travel Demand To Offset China Drag; Melia Hotels Pares Q3 Loss

By Dave Simpson
Marriott Rides Leisure Travel Demand To Offset China Drag; Melia Hotels Pares Q3 Loss

Marriott International Inc has topped estimates for third-quarter revenue and profit as a strong rebound in leisure travel helped counter a hit from fresh restrictions in Asia caused by the Delta variant.

The company's shares rose 4% to hit a record high in morning trade on Wednesday November 3 as the hotel operator also projected that leisure demand could continue to grow into 2022.

Occupancy rates in most major markets improved from pandemic lows with vaccinations and the reopening of economies encouraging more people to travel, but China's zero COVID-19 policy had an impact.

The recovery in Greater China has been choppier, but globally leisure travel remained very strong throughout the quarter, Chief Executive Anthony Capuano said.

Demand in Mainland China fell significantly in August after the government imposed strict lockdowns in response to small regional COVID-19 outbreaks, Marriott said.


The company does not disclose country wide revenue but the Asia-Pacific region is its third-largest contributor.

Brokerage Jefferies said it expects demand in Mainland China to trend upward in the near term, as COVID-19 tensions ease and business and group bookings accelerate.

Meanwhile, occupancy in the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton owner's key U.S. & Canada region stood at 63.5% in the third quarter, compared to 37% a year earlier. Europe occupancy was at 46.7%, up 26.3% from the same period in 2020.

Excluding items, the company earned 99 cents per share in the third quarter, beating expectations of 98 cents.

Revenue rose 75% to $3.95 billion, topping estimates of $3.81 billion.


Melia Hotels Pares Q3 Loss

In other global hotel news, looser restrictions on international travel helped Spain's Melia Hotels slash net losses by 86% in the third quarter, it has said, adding that a tendency toward last-minute bookings clouded visibility over the coming months.

Melia said a "solid summer season" in resort destinations helped drive the improved results but a recovery at hotels in big cities, which mostly cater to business travel, would have to wait for the fourth quarter.

"We have good feedback from corporate key accounts, who hope to begin travelling again from October," the company said, stressing that a general relaxation of restrictions across the board should help drive international travel.

Melia's net loss narrowed to €15.1 million in the July-September period from €111.1 million a year ago, while revenues more than doubled to €290.8 million.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.