Group booking pace is picking up momentum at Marriott International, executives said during the company’s earnings call Thursday. Pace in the United States grew by 11 percent during the first quarter, compared to 2 percent growth a year ago, president and CEO Arne Sorenson said.
Rate growth for these bookings was approximately 2 percent. “Attendance at group meetings is running ahead of expectations,” Sorenson said during the call. “A few meeting planners are complaining about the lack of available space for new bookings during peak times.”
Underneath the 11 percent growth, Sorenson said, is 16 to 17 percent growth in group bookings for smaller hotels, and “high single-digit” growth for the company’s largest convention properties.
“What that should tell you is that it is the … relatively smaller meetings which are leading,” he said. “And by smaller, we don’t necessarily mean tiny, but we mean the meetings that are filling 300-, 400-, 500-, 600-, 700-room hotels, not necessarily the big marquis meetings that are filling 2,000-room hotels.”
One potential headwind as it relates to group pace is in the area of government meetings business, Sorenson said, and the impact the General Services Administration dust-up might have. He said the company will “have to see what the ramifications of that are.”
Courtesy of HotelNewsNow.com