Marriott International has reported a six percent increase in revenue per available room (revPAR) for the first quarter.
Outside North America, company-operated comparable revPAR increased 18.5 percent, with double-digit growth in Central and South East Asia, Latin America, Continental Europe and the Middle East, Marriott says.
Marriott revenues totalled US$2.9bn in the first quarter, a four percent increase from the same period in 2007.
In the first part of the year the chain opened 5,900 rooms, including the conversion of 1,500 rooms from competitor brands.
Marriott International Chairman and CEO J W Marriott says the firm’s results demonstrate the company’s strength.
“Business and leisure travel demand remains robust in most markets around the world,” he says.
“RevPAR at our international properties expanded by 19 percent, along with solid margin improvement and growing incentive fees.
“While performance at our US hotels reflected slowing economic growth, few markets have witnessed discounting and full service room rates rose four percent during the quarter.
“With the US on sale through a lower dollar, international guest arrivals are energising demand in several key markets.”
Marriott added 40 new properties to its worldwide lodging portfolio in the first quarter, and now owns 3,019 properties and timeshare resorts with a total of nearly 538,000 rooms.
By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh