Marriott International has laid out plans for an aggressive expansion programme in China that aims to double its number of brand hotels in the country within five years.
The hospitality giant has signed management agreements for seven high-end hotels, as well as revealed plans to launch a budget brand in the near future.
Marriott, which currently manages 46 hotels in China, expects to have 60 hotels by the end of the year and 90 in five years, making China its second-largest market by number of hotels.
Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president, told a press conference: “China is expected to be the world’s single largest source of international tourism and its number one travel destination.”
“Clearly by the end of this year, if not already, China will be the second-largest market for us,” Sorenson told reporters.
He also said the lower-priced brand hotel in China that would be similar to Fairfield in the United States.
Sorenson said China contributed less than 10 percent of the group’s sales but said its sales growth was in the double-digits.
“We have to watch and see the way the financial crisis works in Europe. If it’s simply about sovereign debt and central bankers, it won’t be much of an impact on the hotel business,” he said.
Last month, Marriott’s quarterly profits beat market expectations comfortably by returning to profit, and said it expects room rates to rise this year.