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Coronavirus: Marriott Reopens All Hotels In China As Travel Bounces


A woman walks past the Marriott signage in Hangzhou in China's Zhejiang Province.Image copyright
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Marriott has reopened all of its hotels in China and the group says it has seen a recovery in business travel.

The third largest hotel chain in the world has 350 points of sale in China and indicates that the occupancy rate is now 40%.

Marriott made an optimistic statement on Monday about its activities in China following the coronavirus shutdown.

Last week, he said that the financial impact of the pandemic had been more severe for the hotel chain than September 11 and the 2008 financial crisis combined.

Marriott chief executive Arne Sorenson said occupancy rates at its Chinese hotels were as low as 7% in late January, when China was at its peak.

Sorenson said at a travel conference, “It is not only pleasure travel that is increasing, but business travel. The Chinese are flying again.”

However, he warned that the occupation may not return to its pre-coronavirus level for several years.

Marriott said that demand for hotel rooms in the United States is also picking up, but that it currently accounts for only about half of its properties in China, at 20%.

The hotel group, which owns around thirty brands including Ritz-Carlton, St Regis and Sheraton, has extended leave for employees and reduced work weeks until early October.

“Given that the company expects past activity levels not to return beyond 2021, the company anticipates a significant number of layoffs above the property later this year,” said he said in a statement.

Rival Hilton reopened its 255 hotels in China two weeks ago and launched a CleanStay initiative to protect employees and customers.

Hotels and travel in China were among the first to be affected by the coronavirus epidemic, and appear to be the slowest to recover as businesses and factories reopen across the country.

Shanghai Disneyland reopened last month despite introducing strict social distancing rules and limiting daily visitors to around 24,000 from its pre-pandemic level of 80,000.

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