Companies and consumers have started to spend on trips again, but the recovery has been slow, particularly in the U.S. where consumers are still dealing with high unemployment and a dismal housing market.

Berquist said North American revenue per available room growth has been modestly lower than expected. Softness has been evident in large group hotels in locations including New York, Atlanta, Orlando, Fla. and Washington D.C.

Overall North American revpar growth is strong year-over-year, and Marriott is predicts first-quarter North American revpar will rise 5 percent to 6 percent. But the performance is considerably better abroad, with international revpar likely to increase 11 percent in the first quarter.

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