-- Worldwide company-operated comparable revenue per available room (REVPAR) rose 6.0 percent (4.5 percent using constant dollars) for the first quarter ended March 21, 2008;
J.W. Marriott, Jr.,(top right photo) Marriott International's chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Marriott's first quarter results demonstrated the company's strength. Leading brands and a focus on bottom line results delivered strong, on-target earnings in the first quarter.
"While performance at our U.S. hotels reflected slowing economic growth, few markets have witnessed discounting and full service room rates rose 4 percent during the quarter. With the U.S. on sale through a lower dollar, international guest arrivals are energizing demand in several key markets.
"Attendance at group meetings was on track during the quarter and group cancellations remained lower than 2007 levels. Group meeting bookings for the remainder of 2008 are strong. Given these trends, we remain cautiously optimistic about 2008 demand trends. (Photo of Denver Ritz-Carlton, a new Marriott acquisition, at right).