The defining line between business travel and leisure travel is beginning to blur, according to Marriott International CEO Tony Capuano.
“At Marriott, we’re seeing strong recovery in demand in many of our largest markets, and it’s not just leisure demand,” Capuano told USA TODAY in a statement Tuesday. “Increasingly, our guests are blending trip purpose, combining their business travel with leisure travel – and we think that’s really good news for our hotels across the country.”
Capuano told CNBC Monday the distinction between the two travel types is fading which he views as a positive as the company seeks to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on the travel industry.
Capuano believes it will be less clear what the “trip purpose” is, he told CNBC after noting that the company does believe that business travel will start to come back.
“Increasingly, we’re seeing folks that say, ‘I can blend trip purpose, I can combine leisure with business travel,'” he explained. “We think that’s really good news for our hotels across the country.”
And Marriott is leaning into the blur and keeping it in mind while marketing.
“Our marketing teams are employing localized and personalized marketing strategies that utilizes our direct travels to help capture more leisure as well as bleisure travel as the lines between work and home blur,” Capuano said on the company’s first quarter earnings call Monday.
While the company’s domestic rebound has been led by leisure bookings, group bookings in the U.S. and in Canada are on the rise and Capuano said that the pent-up demand for all kinds of travel is clear.