300 Million Viewers Watching on CCTV

July 9, 2012

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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. 
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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 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 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 Euro is weak while 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 impact to its business. This also makes the company to put more focus on those 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.

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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.  

 

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As china is an economical power there will be more opportunities for such projects.Keep it up.

Hi Bill, I think your views are really on track. Do you speak mandarin fluently?

Wonderful blog, and very informative, thank you Bill for sharing your thoughts.

This intervew on CCTV was very illuminating. I agree with most of it, but I do have a comment to make about the first response.

When you spoke about the hotel business going into recession, slower than other businesses, that is perhaps true of hotels that rely on advance bookings for weddings, conferences etc. but the terror attacks on 9/11 had a really detrimental effect on travel.

In London a lot of the hotel rooms were going for a fraction of the price, immediately after 9/11, when people were scared of travelling. Along with the hotel business, the other industry that suffered immediately was the airline industry.

Completely agree, Mr. Marriott! Things are looking great for Marriott in China as there is one new Marriott hotel being built in China every month. I bet it was a great experience to be in China and to be able to visit so many properties. Great job!

Dear Bill, I quite agree with what you said, particlarly about the tourism growth in the country. I believe Marriott Hotels has done a very good job in China, and the brand "万豪" has become a household word.

I always thought that travel and lodging were the first to be hit in a recession since people stopped traveling. Good to know that business booked years in advance shields the hotel companies from some of it.

I'd travel to Europe this summer if the airline prices weren't so steep. Can you fix that one?

I agree with your views of the economy particularly where China is concerned. As a frequent traveler to China the signs of progress and growth are everywhere. Most of the experts I have heard and read may vary about the China’s growth rate; no one is projecting a recession. There seems to strength in numbers and enabling all those consumers. As the consumers become more prosperous it should be good for hotel and other businesses as well to meet those demands. Syed T. A. Naqvi, Platinum Emeritus.

Nice talk, Mr.Marriott!
I wish I interviewed you in china!!