Marriott to add 140 new hotels
Dubai, March 11, 2008
Marriott International plans to add more than 140 hotels and resorts outside the US and Canada, representing more than 34,000 rooms in key markets including UAE, Qatar, China, India and Thailand, over the next four years.
These projects to be developed across 43 countries are in anticipation of the one billion international tourism arrivals expected by 2010.
The new hotels are part of Marriott's global growth strategy in which more than 125,000 rooms were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development at yearend 2007, a top official said.
The international expansion is being fueled by an exploding, worldwide middle class and rising consumer confidence coupled with a desire to satisfy individual tastes and interests.
It is expected to result in Marriott International outside the US and Canada either managing or franchising nearly 500 hotels and offering travelers a choice of approximately 126,000 guest rooms by the end of 2011.
Represented in this expansion are Marriott International hotel brands in the luxury, deluxe, mid-market and extended stay travel segments, with the largest concentration of openings in the near term taking place in China, India, Thailand and the UAE.
“We have signed contracts for all 140 hotels and are excited to be in a position to respond so positively to this coming wave of travelers,” said Ed Fuller, president & managing director of international lodging at Marriott.
“Thanks to our ability to deliver results even during uncertain times and the clear preference our hotels and brands enjoy among major customer groups, our lodging products continue to attract strong interest among global developers and investors.”
Marriott’s openings over the next four years include Luxury JW Marriott hotels in China, India, the UAE, Kazakhstan, Colombia and the United Kingdom.
It also plans to launch Marriott Executive Apartments for extended stay travelers in cities including Guangzhou (China), Bangkok, Atyrau (Kazakhstan), Doha and Dubai.
In addition, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Marriott’s newly announced Nickelodeon brand for customers who want to combine play and productivity at meetings and its high-end boutique brand Edition also recently announced aggressive growth goals outside the US and Canada.
Fuller said that the global tourism industry can expect strong years ahead.
He cited the “graying” populations of developed countries which tend to have more discretionary money to spend on travel, the pent-up demand for travel among those in emerging economies and the global middle class whose strong desire to discover new experiences and to learn about other cultures are reasons to be optimistic.
Fuller said that sales from online sources continued to have another banner year in 2007, growing 28 per cent over the previous year.
In 2007, Marriott.com generated $5.2 billion in sales and ranks eighth as the world’s top electronic consumer retail site.-TradeArabia News Service