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Marriott CEO Issues Coronavirus Statement, Reveals Change Policy

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 14, 2020

Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, has issued a statement addressing the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson told travelers that “we know travel may not be your first thought, but I want you to know the safety of our guests and associates is our top priority.”

The company said travelers should “have confidence when you book a stay at any of our hotels across the globe that we are doing everything we can to have accommodations ready for you.”

It was a no doubt uncomfortable but important note for Sorenson, as travel demand has unsurprisingly shrunk as the world looks to “flatten the curve” of the global pandemic. 

Sorenson said the company was closely monitoring the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the latest developments on the novel coronavirus. 

“We are reinforcing these agencies’ recommendations on the appropriate health and safety measures with our own hotel management teams and the hotel operators in our portfolio,” he said. 

Crucially, for guests with existing reservations, the CEO said changes could be made without a charge up to 24 hours before arrival, he said, so long as the change was made by April 30. 

For new reservations through the end of next month, the company said it would be allowing those reservations to be changed or canceled without charge up to one day before arrival. 

Marriott said it was working to “ensure” it was meeting the latest guidance from the CDC on cleaning and hygiene.

“Whenever you travel, we are waiting with open doors and open hearts to serve you,” Sorenson said. 

— CJ

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