Marriott International has pointed to small signs of recovery in the Chinese hospitality market as chief executive Arne Sorenson offered a business update amid the rapidly evolving coronavirus outbreak.
The number of closed Marriott hotels in Greater China has declined from over 90 a month ago to under 30 today, he said.
While occupancy levels in Greater China are still under 15 per cent today, this is an improvement, and trend lines are pointing in the right direction.
However, the picture was much darker elsewhere.
In the rest of the world, where the crisis is much more recent, the trend lines are still negative, Sorensen explained.
North America and Europe have seen occupancy levels below 25 per cent over the last few days, compared to around 70 per cent a year ago.
The company said it could see further erosion in performance in the weeks ahead and does not expect to see material improvement until there is a sense that the spread of the virus has moderated.
While there have been historically high levels of cancellations for stays through the first half of this year, there have not yet been meaningful group cancellations for 2021 related to Covid-19, and many group customers are at least tentatively rebooking for later in 2020.