Global hotel chain Marriott International will be opening more hotels in the Gulf region in anticipation of increased tourist arrivals.
Marriott’s expansion over the next four years include Luxury JW Marriott hotels in the UAE, India, China, Kazakhstan, Colombia and the United Kingdom, said Ed Fuller, president and managing director of International Lodging at Marriott.
In anticipation of the one billion international tourist arrivals expected by 2010, Marriott International plans to add more than 140 hotels and resorts outside the United States and Canada, representing more than 34,000 rooms in 43 countries over the next four years, the hotel chain said in a statement.
These new hotels are part of Marriott International’s global growth strategy according to which more than 125,000 rooms were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development at end of 2007.
Represented in this expansion are Marriott International hotel brands in the luxury, deluxe, mid-market and extended stay travel segments, with the largest concentration of openings in the near term taking place in the UAE, China, India and Thailand. The international expansion is being fuelled by an exploding, worldwide middle class and rising consumer confidence coupled with a desire to satisfy individual tastes and interests. It is expected to result in Marriott International outside the US and Canada either managing or franchising nearly 500 hotels and offering travellers a choice of approximately 126,000 guest rooms by the end of 2011.
“We have already signed contracts for all 140 hotels and are excited to be in a position to respond positively to this coming wave of travellers,” said Fuller.
The expansion includes Deluxe Marriott-branded hotels in Macao, Hong Kong, Pune (India), Dubai, Phuket and Mexico City; Deluxe Renaissance-branded hotels in Bangalore, the Maldives, Curacao, Paris and Doha; Courtyard properties for upper mid-tier travellers in Phuket, Aberdeen (Scotland), Budapest, Hangzhou (China) and Hyderabad; and Marriott Executive Apartments for extended stay travellers in Guangzhou (China), Bangkok, Atyrau (Kazakhstan), Doha and Dubai.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co and Marriott’s newly announced Nickelodeon brand for customers who want to combine play and productivity at meetings and its high-end boutique brand Edition also recently announced aggressive growth goals outside the US and Canada.
Fuller said the global tourism industry can expect strong years ahead. He cited the “greying” populations of developed countries that tend to have more discretionary money to spend on travel, the pent-up demand for travel among those in emerging economies and the global middle class whose strong desire to discover new experiences and cultures are reasons to be optimistic.
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