US business travel is back but it looks different, hotel CEOs say

 (Reuters) - Business travel has returned to the United States, hotel executives at a New York industry conference said this week, as companies of all sizes are increasingly booking trips at higher levels and prices than before the pandemic.

Corporations are eschewing long-haul international business travel, however, and are instead prioritizing U.S. trips. Small- and medium-sized enterprises have led the recovery over the past couple of years, but large corporate bookings are rising as well.
"Business travel is back and it is on a steady rise," Hyatt Hotels Corp (H.N), opens new tab Chief Executive Officer Mark Hoplamazian said late on Monday at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference.
Hoplamazian said the company's corporate accounts in April are up 12% year-to-date and total business travel is up 6% cumulatively year-over-year. Hyatt primarily serves larger corporate clients.
Smaller- and medium-sized enterprises generate more repeat business as they prioritize meeting more often and closer to home, said Accor (ACCP.PA), opens new tab Chief Executive Officer Sebastien Bazin.
Pricing for large corporate accounts is up about 5% to 8% for the next 12 months, he said.
"Business is back but it's a different business travel mix," he said.
The business travel rebound is also fuelling a recovery in group business travel and at higher prices.
"Group is the strongest performing segment right now," said Marriott International (MAR.O), opening new tab Chief Executive Officer Anthony Capuano. "To get the dates, space, and cities that [clients] want, they are saying 'can I book five, six, seven years out'," he said.
There is a tremendous level of interest by associations to get the dates they need, said Hyatt's Hoplamazian.
"In some cases group business, this is large meetings, it's pretty significant mid-single digit price growth, " said Hyatt's Hoplamazian.

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