The hotel industry has faced a challenging period as people stayed home and room rates were driven down. Hotel operators expected travelers to start returning this year, but many expected room rates to remain depressed. Rates for hotel rooms are starting to rise, however, as demand grows. "Many seem to wonder if the economic recovery has any strength and if there is a risk of a double dip," said Marriott President Arne Sorenson. "There's nothing in our business that indicates this. Business and leisure travel are strong."