The lodging company, which has 350 locations throughout China, has an occupancy rate of 40 percent. Arne Sorenson, Marriott CEO, said the occupancy rates in its hotels in China were at as low a level as 7 percent in January at the time the country was at the height of infections.
“It’s not just leisure travel growing, but it is business travel,” Sorenson said, according to the BBC. “Chinese are flying again.”
The travel and lodging vertical in China was one of the first impacted by the pandemic and appears to be the most sluggish to bounce back as factories and firms open again throughout the nation. Hilton, a competitor, opened all of its 255 lodging facilities in the country two weeks ago and unveiled a CleanStay program to keep customers and workers safe.
Marriott indicated that demand for lodging rooms in the United States is also bouncing back but is at only approximately 20 percent, which is half of the level at its hotels in China.
The news comes as hotels are working overtime to put an emphasis on cleanliness to get guests comfortable with checking in again. The American Hotel & Lodging Association (ALHA) and the U.S. Travel Association recently put forward guidelines for the vertical based on contactless interactions, social distancing, extended health screening and scaled-up sanitation procedures.
The ALHA also put forward distinct Safe Stay Guidelines meant to assist hotels in bolstering their cleanliness standards — and show customers that a site is safe for lodging. Big hotel brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, Omni Hotels, Best Western and Choice Hotels served on an advisory board that aided in creating the standards.