It's not everyday that you're interviewed on TV and 300 million viewers tune in. During my recent trip to Asia, China Central Television (CCTV) interviewed me about Marriott's growth and the global economy. I thought you'd be interested in reading the transcript and viewing the segment.
Anchor: The tourism and hospitality industry are often connected to economic development. Some people look at its improvement as a sign of economic recovery. Why do you think that is the case?
Bill Marriott: The hotel business is quite different from normal manufacturing and other businesses because we do a lot of convention and meeting business, and these are booked far in advance. So when we go into a recession, we won't go as fast as anybody else. We are not as severely impacted by a recession as other businesses are, though we are impacted.
Anchor: Some people think Greece may drop out of the eurozone and make the Euro crisis even worse. How much does this worry you?
Bill Marriott: Well, the European crisis is very severe. However, Greece seems to be the biggest concern. We only have one hotel in Greece, so this will not have a major impact to our company. However, if Europe continues to decline in terms of GDP, we will be very concerned.
Anchor: Currently Spain is being impacted by the real estate bubble. Considering the connection between the hotel industry and real estate, how does this kind of situation affect Marriott's business?
Bill Marriott: Well, we are not really tied to real estate industry that much. But the big impact it does have is that it will slow down our growth. If the real estate bubble comes apart and things do not do well in real estate, then real estate becomes difficult to get finance. Developers have to put up more equities, and therefore more debts are coming. Growth of the company will slow down a bit.
Anchor: The depreciation of the Euro also brings opportunities. For instance, travelers will save money from their spending in Europe.
Bill Marriott: The up side will be there. It will have ups and downs like everybody else. But in the long term, it is a good value particularly now when the Euro is weak while the US dollar is strong. This is a good vacation value for the Americans to travel there.
Narration: Established in 1927, Marriott International has hotels in many countries and regions. It manages more than 3,700 hotels worldwide. The economic recession in the US and Europe in recent years has had an impact on its business. This has made the company put more focus on emerging markets.
Bill Marriott: We have a long term view of China being one of the most important destinations in the world. We believe in the next three years, China will probably become the biggest business destination for travel in the world, even bigger than the United States.
Do you agree with my views on the economy? Leave a comment. I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move
View CCTV video. The Anchor lead-in is in Mandarin.