Marriott CEO trashes Trump at Davos after bowing to communist China
That is a one sided article. What was your point in posting it?
Seeing who might respond, and you did. Other than keep a dialog running about corporate Marriott, no other reason.
We'll see if others see it as one-sided, or not.
As a DC resident who, unavoidably, lives this 'stuff' 24/7, I don't have the energy to go deep into these types of discussions (and we've had several on Insiders that I've deliberately bypassed), I will say that yes, the Examiner is known for their right (opposite of left) side of the aisle, views. If you read the WSJ, it's probably good to read the NYT now and then, if you read the Washington Post it's good to occasionally glance at the Examiner etc etc.
One sided or not, it does points out what has been observed here locally, (Washington Business Journal, local Post articles, and other local web sites) and that is that Marriott, heavily US weighted, has been impacted (not yet materially, but they are showing signs of feeling it) by the reduction of travel tourism into the US and they are responding, relative to their historical norm, more aggressively politically than almost ever before observed. I'm not here to argue whether, deservedly so or not - just to observe it and to think how it might impact me as a traveler.
Thanks for sharing anadyr - it's good to see all sides of an issue in helping us forecast potential impact on us, the traveler.
For anyone wanting a non-political, 'inspiring' article involving Marriott, here you go:
Now, since you're 'back in the game' anadyr, give us some scoop on the sonic problems in Cuba, as inquired by our newest major contributor jere5iah
I'm currently working on a project in Cuba, so I get a lot of info; Here's something that crossed my path - a book by our Insiders pal, now available at Amazon: Anadyr,The End of the Cuban Revolution
ERC its tough not to see bias in most everything one reads( including judges). I also try to read a few publications as what I really want is facts that I can then form opinions. Many writers and journalist in this era have difficulty suppressing their personal views
Very good point @jerryl. i think that the only fact in the article is Marriott occupancy from international countries is down at Marriott.
The Washington Examiner is pretty one sided (to the right), which is why I like it.
There was not a lot of trashing of the President, however the point being made (that Marriott certainly kowtows to the Chinese gov't) I think is well documented. It is also understandable because had they not apologized and reprimanded employees, the 300+ Marriott properties in China could be at risk.
To me the main point of the article is that we live in a land where you can say these things about the president (or any president) and not worry about government crackdowns. Boycotts from one side or another? Yes. Slights to one side or another in the political arena (or perceived slights) can have a significant impact on ones business. IMHO, the NFL and Starbucks are two examples that have had significant business loss after stepping into it in the political arena. All it takes is 5% of your customer base to participate in a boycott and the stakes are high.
Good answer nipper, and erc I had never heard of the Washington Examiner, so now i am educated. As an outsider to the USA who goes there a lot, i must say that there is a change and fewer people are going. We get some pretty good deals that i have not seen since our dollar hit 65 cents back in the late 90s. Even Disney has given "Canadian Discounts". Marriott has not so far, but in Florida i play the book and watch game. As the time gets closer, prices drop. and i get a better deal.
While I am not certain about the number of traveler being significantly different. It certainly could be.However the relative strength of the dollar to European currencies has a lot to do with it. I have noticed the ability to buy a lot more in Europe for the same $ in the past couple trips compared to before. That also means that Europeans trying to pay dollars for travel, hotels, etc, have a harder time.
That being said, everyone has their own reasons for travelling or not travelling and those reasons vary as much as people do.
I say Fake News.
a. The article uses the word "trashes" in the headline. Arne is not even quoted as talking about Trump. Any measure of trashing, has to include naming the trashee....by definition.
b. The basis of the discussion is that tourism is down 4% in the US "Sorensen said". No source is mentioned. Let's assume that there actually is a variable statistic that states that some measure of incoming international travel is down 4%. Wouldn't any comment by Arne just be his opinion, in fact, pure speculation as to why it was down by 4%?
c. "Welcoming" is clearly not a measurable - so really any reference to the increase or decrease in "welcoming" is hideous - especially when trying to explain said increase or decrease.
d. Trumps specific reason for being at Davos was to "Welcome" business to the US. The tagline for his speech was "the US is open for business again". How much more of a welcome does a non US resident need?
e. I find it interesting that Arne is crying about lower US tourisim, yet my lefty Mayor Rahm Emanuel simultaneously is touting record tourism numbers in Chicago. 55 million visitors last year, a record - far better than expected. There must be at least 30 brand new or soon to open hotels in Chicago. Not brand switching - I'm talking NEW hotels (I will generate a list if needed) - many of which are Marriott. I realize the "4%" relates to foreign tourists, but this article didn't break down the numbers.Chicago tourism numbers hit record high, topping 55 million in 2017 - Chicago Tribune
f. Could it be that things fluctuate from year to year WITHOUT a reason? I think so. I certainly don't think dancing politically on one side or the other is going to help Marriott.
Spreading and proliferating Fake News is commonplace. In what can only be described as a human-like manner, I have evolved to be able to instantly decipher fake news and re-interpret it, almost as fast as Google Translate.
I wasn't going to wade it due to obvious bias of the original article. Whether you agree with the POV or not, I suggest Insiders watch the interviews with Arne and make their own judgement about his comments.
Here are a few to choose from
Marriott CEO Says U.S. Is Losing Share of Global Travel – Bloomberg
Marriott International CEO in Davos [Video]
The US is a less friendly destination today: Marriott CEO - YouTube
Lots of talk about the merger, Marriott's stock price, global travel numbers, etc.
2017 did not changed my plans, i find the american people to be very nice and i love going there. I also find them welcoming. The border experience has certainly changed and not for the better, except the lines are shorter.
A poster above indicated Arne is speculating on th 4% reduction in international travel. Seeing that Arne sits on the top of a mega company that has about 20 percent of the hotel rooms in america and has a crack IT system at his finger tips, he probably would be in one of the best positions to know.
This article is not news at all, it is simply one person's extremely slanted (to the point of fantasy) opinion (see clearly the word - OPINION directly above the article title.) We either agree or disagree with the - opinion, and possibly may choose to execute some mental gymnastics to decipher if there is any meaningful real news in the article at all. Real news. As in fact. As in supporting data.
Further to that and what concerns me, is that much of what was written was completely false...
"International travel has dipped because of Trump, complains the CEO of Marriott International." FALSE
Sorenson never stated in any interview that international travel has dipped. In fact, he has stated the opposite, that it is up by 7%, though the U.S. share of that is down by 4%. Why? He states that the data is difficult to quantify from multiple sources. He points out that the dollar is strong, so Americans are better poised to travel internationally. He mentions security. No where does he mention Trump in that equation. Mostly he talked about the merger between Marriott and Starwood. He talked about how stock prices have gone up and how well the company is doing.
The author states, "The international innkeeper didn't mention that since Trump took the oath of office, hotel stock has traveled brilliantly upward." FALSE
Sorenson states that Marriott shares are up 70% in the last year and goes on to detail other positive performance metrics.
I personally found much of what was written laughable, as in both funny (for instance the concession that Trump's tweets are likely to be poorly worded and contain misspellings - too true) and redonkulous. At the same time, It's also a sad, sad commentary as to how extremely jaded journalism (and many of it's consumers) have become.
I find most publication's political reporting on both sides to be - tiresome. It's nearly impossible to fight against lies and decipher the truth. People have a tendency to believe anything that validates their own point of view. May we all take heed.
Marriott CEO Says U.S. Less Welcoming to Travelers Under Trump - Bloomberg Quint
Here's the first few paragraphs of the situation; (I saw this interview, but can't find it to share, Arne has had similar views since at least June '17 specifically about how the drop in travel to the US has impacted Marriott specificially and Trump and his words/policies are a significant cause of that drop):
International travelers curtailed trips to the U.S. last year, and President Donald Trump’s rhetoric is partly to blame, Marriott International Inc.’s chief executive officer said in a Bloomberg Television interview.
“Part of that is I think the sense that the U.S. is less welcoming today,” Arne Sorenson said Wednesday from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Words around immigration, or words around some of these other issues, can be interpreted in the rest of the world as words of welcome or relatively less welcome.”
Global travelers took 1.3 billion international trips last year, up 7 percent from 2016, while international trips to the U.S. decreased by about 4 percent, Sorenson said
Now, I agree, the Examiner played loose with several issues to amplify the author's point, but just like the saying, "a broken clock is right twice a day" there are often some germs of truth in the current hodgepodge of 'political' reporting from both sides (which is why I wrote above about the importance of counterbalance in attempting to grasp reality).
I've got no dog in this fight, except as a local DC boy (where we get a lot more Marriott coverage than others) to inform Insiders that Marriott is not the big warm and fuzzy puppy that we sometimes want to make them out to be. I'm friends with some Marriott property owners, some conference planners, and even some OTA players and trust me, Marriott (to us shareholders' benefit) are truly the Big Dog when it comes to negotiating and they behave accordingly, (to include aggressive litigation) similar to how we are subject to Resort, Amenity, and Facility fees on everyday properties and Award Stays.
I only jumped in this post (anadyr, you rascal - hey, where are you?) to raise the perspective of Insiders as a collective group, being cognizant of the potential impact (drop in US travel and Marriott bookings) it might have on us. Let the world leaders hammer out the macro, I just want my upgrade .
Good stuff all the way around. Keep on keepin' on Insiders
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