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Marriott International Inc.

MAR -2.91%

swung to a loss for the first quarter, though it pointed to rising demand in the U.S. and Canada, its largest region, as Covid-19 vaccine rollouts accelerated.

The hotel chain on Monday posted a net loss of $11 million, compared with a profit of $31 million in the same period last year. Adjusted earnings were 10 cents a share, ahead of Wall Street estimates.

The company, which has more than 7,600 properties world-wide, saw demand in leisure travel pick up momentum, especially in ski and beach resort destinations, Chief Executive

Tony Capuano

said. Marriott also saw green shoots in special corporate and group bookings as companies slowly began their return to offices, Mr. Capuano added.

Revenue fell to $2.32 billion from $4.68 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet were looking for $2.38 billion.

Comparable systemwide revenue per available room, a closely watched industry metric known as RevPAR, fell 46.3% to $45.68 world-wide from a year earlier. Occupancy fell 15.3 percentage points to 37.7%.

In mainland China, occupancy reached 66% in March, almost the same as in March 2019 due to demand from both leisure and business travelers, Mr. Capuano said.

“While recovery trajectories vary from region to region, the resiliency of demand has been most keenly demonstrated in mainland China, where occupancy is near the pre-pandemic level,” Mr. Capuano said.

Last week, rival

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.

posted a quarterly loss of $108 million as its chief executive said rising Covid-19 cases and tightened travel restrictions, especially in Europe and Asia Pacific, weighed on demand in January and February, though it saw improvement in March and April.

Hyatt Hotels Corp.

posted a wider quarterly loss of $304 million.

Airports in Paris and Singapore as well as airlines including United and JetBlue are experimenting with apps that verify travelers are Covid-free before boarding. WSJ visits an airport in Rome to see how a digital health passport works. Photo credit: AOKpass

Write to Dave Sebastian at dave.sebastian@wsj.com

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

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