On land and sea, the travel industry is hurting but holding out hope for a recovery.
Marriott said Monday it has reopened most of its hotels around the world, helped by a rebound in business travel in China. The average occupancy at its hotels is also improving, although still at depressed levels.
The hotel giant’s CEO voiced optimism that the worst damage from the pandemic is over. The harm in the second quarter was clear: Marriott lost $234 million as its revenue plunged 72%.
In another corner of the travel industry, Royal Caribbean posted a $1.64 billion loss as cruise ships remained anchored in port.
Both results were worse than Wall Street expected.
Investors, however, appeared to focus on upbeat comments by executives: Shares in Bethesda, Maryland-based International Inc. closed Monday up 3.6%. Miami-based Royal Caribbean Group gained 10%.
“A lot of people have written off this summer. They have decided that there isn’t going to be a big summer vacation for all of the reasons that we know,” Michael Bayley, CEO of the Royal Caribbean Cruises affiliate, told analysts. “But people certainly want to have a vacation next year, and I’m kind of hopeful that we’re going to see a nice bump in 2021.”
Hotels, cruise lines and airlines are suffering as travel restrictions and fear of contracting COVID-19 have caused many people to stay home. While leisure travel has recovered slightly from April lows, lucrative business travel has been especially hard hit and is expected to take longer to recover.