Marriott Loses 'Handful' of Bookings From Travel Ban, CFO Says
Marriott International, the world’s biggest hotel operator, lost a small amount of group business due to travel restrictions under President Donald Trump’s executive order last month, Chief Financial Officer Leeny Oberg said.
"We are aware of a handful of groups who have said, ‘You know what? I’m going to go elsewhere,'" Oberg said in a telephone interview after Marriott announced its fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday. “Whether there’s a marked impact, I think it’s too soon to tell.” Group business tends to have a longer lead time, “so it’s going to take a little while to discern the impact,” she said.
The Trump administration’s restrictions on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, Iraq and Syria, sparked lawsuits, protests around the country and condemnation from employers in the technology industry, which relies on foreign talent. Last week, a federal appeals court refused to reinstate the 27 January ban after a Seattle-based judge earlier put it on hold.
"It’s something we’re watching very carefully," Oberg said, noting the potential impact is greater than just the nations directly affected by the ban. “You wouldn’t look just at those seven countries. You’d be looking at how the international community and international countries look at you, as a company that has big operations in the U.S."
Asked whether Marriott plans to join any of the lawsuits seeking to end the travel ban, Oberg said no.
News by Bloomberg, edited by hospitality Ireland