Marriott, AirBnB and others see global travel rebound in 2022

Marriott, AirBnB and others see global travel rebound in 2022

NEW YORK, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Marriott and Hilton, two of America’s biggest hotel chains, have told investors they expect people to start packing for business and leisure again this year in rates not seen since before the pandemic.

Hotels and other travel-related businesses presented an optimistic outlook in quarterly results this week, citing rising vaccination rates and falling COVID-19 cases in the United States after the winter surge of the Omicron variant.

Countries are also lifting travel restrictions, with Canada set to ease the entry of fully vaccinated international travelers from February 28.

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The latest quarterly results from Marriott International Inc (MAR.O) and Airbnb Inc (ABNB.O) beat Wall Street estimates, while revenue from Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT.N) nearly doubled.

On Tuesday, Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano told investors that group cancellations increased late last year and this year due to Omicron. Now, cancellations have slowed and new group bookings are gaining momentum.

Capuano pointed to a Salesforce meeting in New York last week as evidence of strong demand for group bookings in the United States as Omicron cases plummet. The meeting involved 25,000 room nights at 11 Marriott properties.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN.O) CEO Craig Billings said Tuesday that guests at his Las Vegas resort are “spending with a vengeance again.”

“2021 has been the year of recovery, and 2022 will outpace COVID and become a year of strong growth for the industry,” said Jamie Lane, vice president of research at vacation rental research firm AirDNA. .

In January, AirDNA recorded about 58,000 new short-term rentals in the United States, the most added since the start of the pandemic, and the number is growing every day, Lane said. AirDNA data also shows a 35% increase in short-term rental nights booked in the United States in January 2022 compared to the same period in 2019, and a 12% increase compared to 2019 globally.

Omicron-related disruptions to Hilton’s commercial bookings have been largely limited to the first quarter of 2022, with most events postponed until later in the year, Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta told investors. The hotel company expects corporate group bookings to ramp up through the rest of 2022.

Similarly, online travel agency Expedia Inc. (EXPE.O) reported last week that bookings had “rebounded strongly” since the rise of Omicron.


As many workers embrace the flexibility that comes with permanent remote work, Airbnb said people using its short-term rental site booked longer stays in the past quarter.

About half of nights booked in the fourth quarter were for stays of a week or more, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky told investors on the earnings call on Tuesday.

“People are spreading to thousands of towns and cities, staying for weeks, months, or even entire seasons at a time,” Chesky said. “People are less tied to a desk, so now they can live anywhere.”

Erin Francis-Cummings, CEO of tourism market research firm Destination Analysts, said the upbeat outlook for travel was “not a short-term blow”, adding that the shift to longer stays long should continue.

She cautioned, however, that future COVID variants and surges could dampen the outlook, even if only temporarily.

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Reporting by Danielle Kaye; edited by Anna Driver and David Gregorio

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