Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano sees the summer travel season as shaping up to be quite strong as the world emerges from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it’s going to be a blockbuster summer,” Capuano said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “I was in Europe just last week and our teams are ready. When they look at the forward bookings going into that peak summer travel season, we think it’s going to be a terrific travel season for us.”

Marriott’s shares rose as much as 2% on Wednesday. Marriott shares are up 6% so far in 2022, outperforming the S&P 500’s 12% drop. Hilton and Hyatt are down 7% and 9%, respectively.

To be sure, Marriott’s first quarter results released on Wednesday sent a strong positive signal on future demand.

Marriott’s first quarter systemwide revenue per available room (RevPar) rose 96.5% from a year ago. Average daily rates worldwide surged 36%. Adjusted earnings clocked in at $1.25 a share, hammering analyst estimates for $0.90.

The company reinstated its dividend and signaled it may soon resume stock buybacks. Marriott had suspended each cash return program early on in the pandemic.

“We are reminding investors of our commitment to getting our ratios back, our debt ratios between 3% and 3.5%,” Capuano said. “We are demonstrating confidence in the progress we have made in the pursuit of that objective. And I think the reinstatement of the dividend really speaks to our confidence about the continued and sustained recovery of travel around the world.”

FREISING, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 08: Timothy Liston, US Consul General in Munich smiles with Lufthansa Capatin Thomas Jahn next to his Airbus A 350-900 prior to a Lufthansa flight bound non-stop for Miami at Munich Airport on the first day that U.S. authorities were allowing tourists from Europe to enter the U.S. on November 08, 2021 in Freising, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Timothy Liston, US Consul General in Munich smiles with Lufthansa Capatin Thomas Jahn next to his Airbus A 350-900 prior to a Lufthansa flight bound non-stop for Miami at Munich Airport on the first day that U.S. authorities were allowing tourists from Europe to enter the U.S. on November 08, 2021 in Freising, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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