Despite trade war fears putting pressure on the Chinese stock market and a sliding yuan, Barr was sanguine on China, the hotel groups’ second-largest market after the U.S. He described this as owing to China’s robust domestic consumer market, which constitutes a much larger portion of revenue than international customers do.
“Principally our businesses are domestic businesses,” Barr said. “What drives performance there principally is domestic travel. International inbound has a very, very small impact on overall performance too. It’s incredible to see the infrastructure development, the movement toward a consumption-based economy, and the levers that the Chinese government can pull to drive performance in GDP is unlike most countries in the world. So we are fairly confident in China.”