A pent-up demand for business travel should drive a recovery in corporate transient trends as the year progresses, according to Chris Nassetta, CEO of Hilton, speaking on a fourth-quarter earnings call. With 70% of bookings now being made within a week of travel, said Nassetta, “overall visibility remains limited.” However, he said, “we continue to see signs of optimism.” He said the vast majority of large corporate accounts agreed to extend 2020 negotiated rates into this year. Nassetta said that discussions with corporate accounts show that in the short term, “they have so many things that they need to do when you talk to them about collecting their people, innovation, just team meetings, getting out with clients and customers and the like.” He said business transient trends “are marching up even in the middle of all this, even though we don't have an all-clear sign.” Nassetta said Hilton polling shows that over 80% of corporate travelers say they have to get back out on the road, the highest number since the pandemic began. On the group side, while bookings have been down by 80% compared with 2019, for the second half of 2021 they’re down by only 32% against the same period of that year.