< PrevNext > Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president & CEO Cancellation Policy Chief By Julie Sickel / December 14, 2017 / Contact Reporter Share Marriott International president & CEO Arne Sorenson marks his fourth consecutive appearance on BTN's Most Influential. One might argue that anything Sorenson does, as the head of the single largest hotel company in the world, is going to have an impact on travel. However, Marriott's decision to enact a 48-hour cancellation policy in place of its 24-hour policy caused a particular stir in 2017.Marriott released the policy, in which travelers will incur penalties if they cancel their reservations within 48 hours of their stay, in June. Hilton followed the next month, and then InterContinental Hotels Group changed its cancellation policy from same day to 24 hours.Sorenson said in August the company hadn't seen much blowback. "Nobody likes incremental restrictions on the flexibility of reservations," he said, "but I think most customers understand that we've got a need to manage our inventory and avoid walking people and doing those sorts of things." Most customers understand that we've got a need to manage our inventory and avoid walking people." Corporate travel managers and buyers, however, had plenty to say. The general sentiment was that the policies were anticorporate and the inevitable result of consolidation in the industry, the biggest example of which was Marriott's acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Under 24-hour cancellation policies, buyers typically still had been able to negotiate same-day 6 p.m. cancellations on negotiated rates. With the new 48-hour window as a starting point for negotiations on corporate rates, corporates are now being pushed to agree to a 24-hour cancellation window instead.The cancellation fees will hurt some organizations more than others, but the lingering fear is that the change could lead to even stricter policies in the near future and that Marriott, with its market dominance, will lead the way.