Global hotel superpowers share recovery outlook agreeing and disagreeing on where it will focus.
Senior executives from Accor, Marriott, and other global hotel brands took part in a webinar event earlier this week hosted by New York University.
The webinar event took place to review the impact from Covid-19 on hotels around the world, from hoteliers that operate global portfolios.
One area of unanimous consensus was that the global hotel industry would see 2020 as its worst year ever. They had quite singular outlooks however of what a hotel rebound will look like.
Global hotel superpower outlook – Arne Sorenson
Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson told delegates: “Maybe it’s ironic in the sense that the U.S. and China are the most alike, given how terrible the relationships are politically between the two countries.
“They are the two big markets most dependent on domestic travel, and they will be the first to come back.”
Marriott sees 95% of its business in China and in the US from domestic travel.
Sorenson said he thinks both countries have similar travel and hospitality fundamentals that will fuel a stronger and more immediate recovery than Europe.
Sorenson justified his views saying: “Europe is inherently more complicated because if you look at the market as a whole, it’s made up of all these different countries. They have their own borders. They have their own policies. They have their own approach to the virus.”
Global hotel superpower outlook – Sebastien Bazin
Sebastien Bazin, CEO Accor was more positive of Europe saying: “We are not at 95% in Europe in terms of domestic dependency, but we are at 80%.”
Disagreeing with the view voiced by Sorenson Accor’s CEO argued that 26 European countries that normally allow unrestricted movement within their borders, are on track to lift travel restrictions in June.
Bazin also showed confidence is Europe’s extensive train network suggesting that could aid Europe in its hotel industry recovery. The convenience of trains between countries and their largest cities gave Bazin reason to believe Europe and its major cities will be the first to recover.
Then agreeing with Sorenson, Bazin highlighted the importance of domestic travel in the initial recovery.
It is encouraging to see that the discussion has now moved from crisis management to recovery.
The roads that lead to recovery and which destinations enjoy it most, still look uncertain. Discussion and debate, especially from people who have access to data most do not, warrants attention.
We feature an interview message with Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson to his entire team at Marriott on COVID-19 sharing his views on the onset of Covid-19 here. He starts with “never seen anything like it in 92 years”.
Similarly, Sebastien Bazin, CEO Accor sent an equally candid message to his team by video, and that can be seen here.
Both are excellent examples in leadership.