With more employees returning to the offices, it won’t be long before business travel resumes, according to Mark Hoplamazian, CEO of Hyatt Hotels.
“We’re already seeing signs that people are starting to travel to work in more positive and meaningful ways,” Hoplamazian said in an interview during CNBC’s Evolve Global Summit on Wednesday.
“Most of the bankers, consultants and lawyers I speak to are preparing to hit the streets again, so I think that will really take off in the fall,” he said.
Hyatt Hotels has seen a boon in bookings as travelers are now more willing to vacation as the pandemic has subsided. The entire chain will get about 90% of the deal it saw in 2019 during the two-week period around July 4th.
Much of this has centered on resorts that Hoplamazian said “are back with a vengeance”. Hyatt’s resorts are about 30% above 2019 levels over the same vacation period.
Four in ten Americans say they take a vacation between Memorial Day and late September that includes a flight or hotel booking. according to a survey by Deloitte. This compares to 42% in 2019, underscoring the post-pandemic travel recovery.
People walk through the International Hotel Grand Hyatt during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak on May 21, 2020 in New York City.
Press DISPLAY | Corbis News | Getty Images
The draw for Hyatt has been cities, and mostly northern cities, with Hoplamazian highlighting “gateway cities … which have many international travel as part of their guest base over time,” including New York, Chicago, and San Francisco.
While this part of the year is typically a weaker time for business travel, Hyatt is seeing encouraging signs.
“Tech companies talk about having mandatory office weeks and getting back to work and most importantly, traveling again,” said Hoplamazian.
Cruise industry recovery
Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald said that while the cruise industry is not yet at the same level as hotel resorts in terms of high booking levels, the company “looks forward to being in a similar position very soon be”.
“We’re very excited about a restart here in the US in July,” said Donald at the CNBC Evolve Global Summit, noting that his fleet has been sailing in Europe since the fall of 2020. “We have robust bookings and a lot of catching up to do.”
Carnival requires passengers to show that they are vaccinated according to CDC guidelines.
The CDC recently relaxed its warnings for cruising at the highest level, but only recommended fully vaccinated people to travel if sailing resumes in the U.S. Earlier this week, the Royal Caribbean Group had its ship Odyssey of the Seas’ first voyage move Eight crew members tested positive for Covid-19.
A federal court issued Florida an injunction on Friday against a CDC ruling preventing an immediate resumption of operations, an order preventing the agency from enforcing a cruise ship that arrives in Florida, arrives in Florida or leaves it.
Carnival’s requirement for proof of vaccination runs counter to recent laws prohibiting vaccination passes in Florida and Texas, from where ships depart.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened cruise lines with fines of up to $ 5,000 per passenger if they have proof of compulsory vaccination.
When asked if Carnival was willing to pay a fine, Donald said the company’s top responsibility and priority was “compliance, environmental protection, safety and wellbeing for all.”
“We have to stick to everyone, we have to stick to Florida and the destinations we’re going to, the CDC, other regulators similar to the CDC around the world, and we’re confident that everything will be fine “he said.” I don’t expect we’ll ever have to pay a fine. I am confident that we will work something out with the governor, CDC and industry. ”