Breaking Travel News

Marriott International Will Host the Athens Torch

Marriott International, Inc. has been appointed the Official Supplier of
Hotel Services to the first truly global Olympic Torch Relay, which begins
its international leg on June 4, 2004, and culminates in Athens and the
Games of the 28th Olympiad.
“We are thrilled to host the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch as it crosses the
world and to be part of the first-ever Global Torch Relay. This journey
will serve to unite and infuse the planet with the Olympic spirit,” said
J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott
International. “I look forward to the spirit of the Torch, the unity of
the Olympic Games and celebrating with our associates and friends.”

The theme of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Torch Relay Presented by Coca-Cola
and Samsung is, “Pass the Flame, Unite the World.” The relay will visit 34
cities (including Ancient Olympia) worldwide in 35 days before returning
to Athens, Greece, on July 9 for its final trek through the host country
en route to the Opening Ceremony in Athens. All past and present host
cities of the Olympic Summer Games, as well as Beijing, host city of the
2008 Olympic Games, will greet the flame. In addition, the Olympic flame
will visit South America and Africa for the first time, as well as other
cities along the way, in a global celebration. All five continents
represented by the Olympic Rings will host the Olympic flame.

“Our hotels are very excited that the Marriott brands have been chosen for
this historic event,” said Paul Cerula, senior vice president,
International Lodging Sales. “Marriott’s global expansion in key cities on
the Relay route, matched extremely well with the lodging needs of the
Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay and we are honored to be part of this

Over 11,000 torchbearers will carry the flame. The flame will pass hand-
to-hand, runner-to-runner as it travels through each city. By the time it
returns to Athens, the torch will have traveled more than 78,000
kilometers by air and 1,500 kilometers by torchbearers on foot, in
wheelchairs, aboard bicycles and boats.

Each torchbearer will be selected as an individual that reflects the best
in humanity. The qualifications of a torchbearer are those who inspire
unity, participation, celebration and heritage, and those who believe in
the value of an individual and that the virtue of one person makes a


Upon completion of each day’s relay, the flame will ignite a ceremonial
cauldron in a designated public location where citizens, local officials,
and regional Olympians will celebrate the spirit of the Olympic Games. At
the end of the day’s public festivities, the torch will be escorted to the
hotel for a special goodnight celebration.

More than 25 Marriott International hotels worldwide are participating in
the Olympic Torch Relay. The following hotels will care for, feed, and
provide accommodation for the Olympic Torch and the ATHENS 2004 Organizing
Committee for the Olympic Games:

  Sydney Harbour Marriott at Circular Quay, Sydney Australia
  Melbourne Marriott Hotel, Melbourne, Australia
  JW Marriott Hotel Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
  Renaissance Seoul Hotel, Seoul, South Korea
  Renaissance Beijing Hotel, Beijing, China
  New World Courtyard Beijing, Beijing, China
  New Delhi Marriott Hotel, New Delhi, India
  Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino, Cairo, Egypt
  JW Rio de Janeiro Marriott Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
  Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  St. Louis Marriott Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
  Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
  New York Marriott Marquis, New York, New York, U.S.
  Brussels Marriott Hotel, Brussels, Belgium
  Renaissance Brussels Hotel, Brussels, Belgium
  Amsterdam Marriott Hotel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  Ramada Encore Hotel Geneva La Praille, Geneva, Switzerland
  Courtyard by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France
  Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel, London, U.K.
  Renaissance Munich Hotel, Munich, Germany
  Munich Marriott Hotel, Munich, Germany
  Berlin Marriott Hotel, Berlin, Germany
  Ramada Hotel Presidentti, Helsinki, Finland
  Renaissance Moscow Hotel, Moscow, Russia
  Renaissance Polat Istanbul Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey
  Athens Ledra Marriott Hotel, Athens, Greece