Following a second quarter boosted by what Hilton Hotels Corp. executives described as higher-than-expected levels of business travel, particularly from the small and midsize segment, CEO Christopher Nassetta said on a Wednesday earnings call that he was “cautiously optimistic” that such demand would continue throughout 2022 and into 2023.
Increased business travel helped lift Hilton’s chainwide weekday occupancy by 6% age points from April to June, while weekday revenue per available room reached 95 % of 2019 levels, aided by higher hotel prices.
Hilton’s major corporate clients have rebounded to roughly 80% of 2019-level business travel volume, while the small and midsize company sector has been “very solid.” He noted that revenue, but not occupancy, from these categories, should equal 2019 levels in the second half of the year as the number of corporate meetings is growing with each month of the quarter.
“The anecdotal feedback that we are getting as we go into the fall is people have to travel more—more offices are open, more people are back in the office—while people are worried about where the macroenvironment is going,” Nassetta said. “They have got to run the businesses. And, the more worried they are, the more they realize they [have] got to get out there and make sure they are hustling.”