Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) had an outstanding
year in 2000, with earnings increasing 25 percent to $1.89 per share over 1999 and systemwide sales surging to $19.8 billion.
Speaking at a press conference at the ITB, John Marriott III, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Marriott International, said the company added a record number of new rooms to its lodging system during the year. Most importantly, nearly 30 percent of these rooms represented conversions to our lodging brands, demonstrating owners` and franchisees` preference to be part of our worldwide lodging family.
He said that Marriott added 238 hotels and timesharing resorts (39,995 rooms) across its lodging brands during 2000, with 54 of the hotels located outside the United States. At year-end, the Marriott lodging group encompassed 2,099 hotels and timesharing resorts (390,469 rooms) and approximately 7,000 furnished corporate apartments that are managed by the company`s ExecuStay by Marriott division.
We have the brands preferred by travelers and hotel owners, as well as a talented, enthusiastic work force dedicated to customer service. Our worldwide reservations system, frequent guest loyalty program (Marriott Rewards) and Internet site (marriott.com) are among the best in the hotel industry. Our abundant cash flow enables us to invest significant capital in expanding our businesses and building our brands, Mr. Marriott said.
Marriott Sales Continue Upward Trend
He added that results reported by the company`s worldwide sales offices in 2000 increased by 18.1 percent from the previous year, the 12th consecutive year of double-digit growth. In Central Europe (Frankfurt), sales increased 12.1 percent over the previous year, with German travelers selecting Marriott International hotels in central Europe, Asia and the United States as their top picks.
Meanwhile, bookings made through its marriott.com Internet site reached $430 million, nearly three times as many bookings as registered in the previous year through this distribution channel. Mr. Marriott said that despite the proliferation of e-travel sites, about 75 percent of Marriott`s Internet bookings come directly through marriott.com. He said that the site receives 3 million visits a month.
Despite the growth of its Internet reservations, Marriott booked $2.5 billion in sales through the Global Distribution Systems (GDS). Sales volume in 2000 through this channel continued to grow by 16 percent outside the United States and Canada, with the top five country generators of GDS sales for Marriott International hotels worldwide in descending order being the U.S., Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany and Mexico.