Marriott International, Inc. announced that it expects to more than double the size of its portfolio in the Asia-Pacific region in the next few years. With 132 hotels open in Asia today and a pipeline of signed and approved deals now totaling an additional 143 properties, the company expects to grow to at least 265 hotels by 2016, with more than 80,000 rooms in 16 countries. [Pictured: Ms. Sandra Ngan, Area Director of Human Resources, North China; Mr. Franco Io, Market Vice President, North China; Mr. Henry Lee, Senior Vice President, Greater China; Mr. Simon Cooper, President and Managing Director, Asia; Mr. Colin Lin, Senior Vice President, Hotel Development China; Mr. Lawrence Ng, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Greater China]
Commenting on the announcement, Simon Cooper, Marriott International’s president and managing director in Asia, said: “We are delighted with our growth in the region and believe it is a great testament to the popularity of our brands and the quality of our hotels in Asia that we expect to double in size by 2016. We operate a strategically targeted brand portfolio and our products clearly resonate with our guests, our hotel owners and the communities in which we operate. We have seen great growth across our portfolio and expect to be launching new brands in the region soon, with the introduction of Fairfield by Marriott in India next year and the launch of our EDITION brand in Bangkok in 2014. We expect to grow dynamically but sustainably in Asia for many more years to come.”
Marriott International currently operates eight brands in Asia Pacific: Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments and the recently launched Autograph Collection of hotels that debuted in Asia with the opening of The Stones Legian, Bali this month. The company sees tremendous growth potential targeting different market segments from luxury to mid-scale.
This major growth in the region is driven by consumer preference for the company’s global brands as can be seen by the doubling of membership in Marriott Rewards – Marriott International’s award-winning loyalty programme - in Asia last year. Marriott Rewards grew to more than one million members in China alone, which continues to lead the company’s Asia growth. With 127 open and signed hotels in China, the company expects to open on average one hotel per month in the country for the five years. In India, 23 hotels with Marriott International’s brands are already under construction and the company is likely to grow from 15 hotels to 50-plus hotels in the next few years.
“While China and India are the driving forces for our business in Asia,” Cooper continued, “we are also seeing growth with new signings and openings in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and elsewhere in the region. We see this as a golden age of travel around the world, and our Marriott hotels will be there to welcome all travellers. In the process, we are opening doors to a world of opportunity for our guests and associates alike, by offering great careers to our associates across Asia, while delivering rewarding guest experiences across our growing brand portfolio. We expect to create some 36,000 new jobs in Asia through our growth and development to increase our workforce to more than 76,000 associates in the region by 2016 – including some 40,000 in China alone.
Across Asia, the company signed a record-breaking 13 new hotel deals in August alone. These include a luxury Bulgari hotel in Shanghai, Courtyard by Marriott Amritsar, a Marriott resort in picturesque Dali, a Marriott in Hengyang, and a Renaissance hotel in Xuzhou. Marriott already has a significant market presence in the key cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The company is now entering emerging primary and secondary cities across China and further enriching the portfolio through the addition of more resorts.
In China, Marriott is currently operating in 11 Chinese provinces and expects to be operating in an additional 13 provinces and regions by 2016 including Hunan, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Sichuan, Anhui and Macau, which represents an additional 32 Chinese cities. Marriott International expects to have hotels in 24 of the 34 provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions and special administrative regions in China by 2016.
Marriott has been a tireless advocate for removing the barriers to travel through its membership in the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and World Economic Forum’s Aviation, Travel and Tourism Council. A primary focus has been on new models of mobility, such as the e-visa and reciprocity among nations to make travel easier. The company is also training its associates and teams outside of China to welcome and host many of the expected 80 million Chinese travelers this year with the introduction of its Li Yu programme, which will help make Chinese guests feel more at home.