U.S. hotel operators will face more challenges in the China market as the country persists with its strict COVID-19 lockdowns.

According to Reuters, American hotels have suspended the construction of luxury properties in this crucial tourism market. They also delayed openings of some properties in the country.

While hotel operators enjoy revenue surges in most parts of the world due to travel recovery, China remains locked down with travel restrictions.

Before the pandemic, hotel companies built properties to expand their business in the country, but COVID curbs have delayed the process. 

With 60% projects in the luxury and upscale segment and the key money generator in China, Marriott faced a challenging time in the country.  

Marriott Chief Executive Anthony Capuano said during the third quarter post-earnings call that ​​”The market in China is most certainly where we’re seeing the most challenges.” 

Another hotel giant Hyatt suffered the same under the lockdowns.

Chief Executive Mark Samuel Hoplamazian said earlier this month that “These serial lockdowns have really cost us significantly.” 

He added, “There is a lot of opacity with respect to how China is going to evolve this year; let’s just face it. China had a very, very, very difficult year.” 

China on Friday relaxed some COVID curbs, but experts have warned that the possible reopening probably has a long way to go.

China’s tourism, which plays a crucial part in the hotel industry, also took a hit from Beijing’s zero-COVID policy. 

Earlier last month, China’s tourism sector recorded 422 million trips during its National day holiday, down 18.2% from the 2021 season.Reuters cited China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism data, reporting that the number of tourist trips was only 60.7% of the pre-pandemic levels in 2019.  

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