Marriott International said today that it expects its portfolio of hotels either open or under development to exceed one million rooms by the end of 2015.
This new target follows a record year of growth for the hotel group in 2014, when it opened more than 46,000 rooms worldwide and signed agreements for 650 hotels totalling a further 100,000 rooms. This boosted Marriott’s development pipeline to nearly 240,000 rooms.
Once all these hotels open over the next few years, they will expand Marriott’s presence from 80 countries and territories today to more than 100.
Tony Capuano, Marriott’s chief development officer, said the 2014 growth “continues an historic four-year surge in demand for new Marriott hotels”.
“Our success has been boosted by a number of factors, including… the introduction of new brands which accounted for nearly 40% of our new room openings this past year. We and our hotel owners are excited about our new brands, including Moxy, AC by Marriott, Autograph and Edition, and our newly acquired Protea brand in Africa,” he said.
Meanwhile, Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president & CEO, said the growth is also being driven by the rise of the world’s emerging economies.
“With nearly one billion people moving upward into the middle class across the globe, the incentives to travel, both for business and to see the world, are powerful and are building in momentum,” Sorensen said.
“The doors to travel are increasingly open, as seen in the recent landmark agreement between China and the United States for mutual 10-year visas. Since that policy change was announced there has been a nearly 39% increase in applications for US visas for Chinese visitors, who spend on average, US$7,000 per trip. The potential for new travel and economic growth is huge,” he added.
In Asia, Marriott expects to more than double its hotel portfolio as new projects in the pipeline start to open. The company also expects its growth to continue in the Middle East and Africa, where Marriott’s portfolio could expand by more than 75%, and in the Caribbean and Latin America, where its presence could increase by nearly 50%.
Marriott reached an operating inventory of 700,000 hotel rooms in October 2014, and is one of only four hotel groups in the world with more than 600,000 rooms, along with IHG, Hilton and Wyndham.