Corporate Hotel and Air Business Remains Strong, But for How Long?

20 November 2018

skift.com

It's been a strong year for corporate travel in general, with both hotel chains and airlines reporting robust growth as businesses continue to send their employees across the world.

On their earnings calls in recent weeks for third quarter results, top executives across travel expressed optimism for the future of continued corporate travel growth. Still, signs are emerging that an economic slowdown is coming soon.

Hotel rates are high, putting pressure on the people who plan meetings and events. There are also lingering concerns around the effect that ongoing trade wars and negotiations around the world will have, along with uncertainty creeping into global stock markets. While the major players in corporate travel are getting along more nicely than before, the collaboration may not last if financial pressure increases.

Here's the latest from leaders across the industry on the state of corporate travel and their efforts to attract business travelers.

MARRIOTT CEO ARNE SORENSON ON CORPORATE RATES AND MEETING PLANNERS

"We have regular dialogue with our big corporate customers as it relates to both group and their transient travelers. We have regular sessions with group planners. Sometimes, those are folks in intermediary platforms. And often, those are folks internally at corporate or association customers. I think overwhelmingly, the response has been not just positive but enthusiastically positive. They appreciate the breadth of choice.

"They appreciate the execution that we're bringing to the portfolio of both group boxes in which we are, far and away, the biggest in the industry. And I think we're hearing from our association corporate group customers that they love the breadth of choice that we offer within our portfolio. And similarly, I think we hear from the business transient traveler that they like very much the breadth of choice that we're offering. And so when we see our share of the total travel book of some of our biggest corporate clients, we see that share generally growing, and the relationship is generally very robust…

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