Marriott boss slams US government over 'anti-travel rhetoric'

Marriott boss slams US government over 'anti-travel rhetoric'

Marriott International chief executive Bill Marriott has slammed the US government for discouraging people from travelling during the recession.

Speaking at a press conference at Grosvenor House Hotel in London, he said business and group travel had been severely hit by "anti-travel" rhetoric.

There has been a backlash in the United States over companies splashing out on lavish conferences at luxury hotels. After President Barack Obama spoke out on the subject in February, many companies cancelled their conferences for fear of seeming excessive.

"We have met Congress and asked them to watch what they say because it is damaging the luxury market," said Marriott. "They have to stop talking badly about the industry and recognise the importance of it. We haven't heard any damaging rhetoric over the last 30 days so we're hoping we can put it behind us."

Meanwhile, Marriott is launching its Residence Inn brand in Europe. The first extended stay hotel will open in Munich in 2011 and proprties in the UK and Italy are expected to follow.

There are 770 Marriott hotels in the pipeline over the next four years as the hotel giant continues its development despite the recession.

"We suffering as everyone else is but we have a lot of liquidity so we are sound and strong. It helps that we manage rather than own hotels," added Marriott.




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