Europe News

US recovery faces numerous risks: Marriott CEO

Hotel customers want to invest 'individuality' in stay

Anxiety and uncertainty within U.S. politics will continue to weigh on the U.S. economic recovery, the chief executive and president of the Marriott International hotel group told CNBC.

"Growth is less strong, we still have high unemployment," Arne Sorenson told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box." "[The U.S. recovery] would be better if it were more powerful. There's still plenty of anxiety and disappointment particularly emanating from politics and financial policy," he said on Friday.

His comments come as global markets traded lower as caution set in on fears that the U.S. central bank may announce a tapering of its $85-billion-a-month asset-purchase program when it meets next Wednesday.

"When you talk about pulling out the stimulus and the uncertainties associated with that, you look at the U.S. at debt ceiling discussions and budget discussions...we continue to have this political uncertainty that is sitting on top all of the economic activity that underlies it."

Shares of the international hotel group, which operates and franchises hotels including the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott, have increased 9.8 percent year-to-date.

In July, however, the group pared back its forecast for 2013 earnings to reflect lower-than-expected conference revenue.

Sorenson defended the change, saying that the group still expects its system-wide revPAR (revenue per available room), a key metric combining hotel revenue and room occupancy, to rise to 6 percent worldwide. "Coming out of prior recessions we've been at the 7 to 9 percent range but when thinking why it's a bit lower now, [the reason is is that] the growth is less strong."

The company's overall growth outlook was positive over the next few years, he said, with the supply in real estate for hotels a limit on competition.

"We won't have much hotel real estate supply growth in the U.S. or Western Europe so that, as the economies recover, we'll continue to see demand move and without that supply growth we should continue to see positive same-store sales growth."

Marriott hotels group opens a new boutique hotel in London this week, as the group seeks to tap into the niche, more individualized market.