Donald Trump’s travel ban is hurting the hotel industry, according to Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson.
The ban, which predominantly affects Muslims, is “not good, period,” Sorenson said at a company gathering in Dubai. He claimed that bookings from the Middle East and North Africa were down up to 30 percent in February.
Travelers from those regions tend to spend disproportionately higher on hotel bills, the New York Post reports, so their absence hurts hospitality firms’ bottom line.
“In a banner year, business from these guests at (The Lotte New York Palace hotel) contribute up to 10 percent of annual room revenues — or about $12 million,” David Chase, former GM of the Palace, told the Post. “They travel in groups of 20 to 80 and they will take entire floors at the hotel for months at a time.”
Cynthia Chung of travel arrangement firm Luxury Attache International added that “many families in the Middle East recruit personnel from (those banned) countries and these are the royal households that might refuse to travel to the US.”
The slowdown in travel from predominantly-Muslim countries comes at a bad time for the New York hotel industry, which is already struggling to cope with oversupply of new hotels, a rising dollar and competition from Airbnb.