Marriott International Inc. posted gains for the June quarter, driven by leisure travel, as the company keeps an eye on the spread of the Delta variant, executives said.
“The rate of global lodging recovery accelerated during the second quarter and momentum has continued into July,” Chief Executive Anthony Capuano said Tuesday. “Leisure demand once again led the way, although business transient and group demand also continued to grow” in the U.S. and Canada, which together comprise the company’s largest region.
The hotel chain, whose portfolio encompasses roughly 7,800 properties world-wide, sees demand for business and group stays rising in the fall as it anticipates more workers returning to offices on a hybrid basis, Mr. Capuano said. “Many of our associates are starting to get back on the road, and our largest corporate clients tell us they are beginning to do the same,” he said.
The Bethesda, Md., company, has also seen more blending of leisure trips with business travel, a trend it expects to continue, Mr. Capuano said.
But Marriott has seen some cancellations for group bookings later this year that could be attributable to the spread of the Delta variant, finance chief Kathleen Oberg said. “I expect that more uncertainty about comfort of travel later this year could be impacting the few cancellations that we’re seeing,” Ms. Oberg said in an interview. She added that cancellations have slowed meaningfully from earlier in the pandemic.