By Rahul Odedra
MidEast and Africa region has already doubled its presence in less than three years
Marriott International has set out plans to add more than 1300 hotels to its portfolio around the world over the next three years, with strong growth expected in its Middle East unit.
Laying out its ambitions to a meeting of security analysts and institutional investors on Monday, the company said it expects to add between 200,000 and 235,000 new rooms around the world in 2014 through 2017.
Focusing on the Middle East and Africa region, it said it had already doubled its presence in less than three years and that, by 2017, it expects to have a portfolio of 31,000 to 33,000 rooms in 29 countries throughout the region.
Largely driven by its acquisition of South Africa’s Protea Hospitality Group earlier this year, this would represent a 24 percent to 26 percent compound growth rate from 2013.
“This is a great time to be in the hotel business,” said Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson. “Around the world, this is a golden age of travel.
“In 2012, international trips topped a record one billion, and we would like to see that double over the next 10 years.
“Economic growth and rising middle classes are driving this travel, and we now have more hotels open or in development outside the US than at any time in our company’s history. In North America, we believe we are only midway through an elongated lodging cycle, with considerable upside to come.”
The company added that it was assuming 6 percent RevPAR growth in 2014, the midpoint of its current guidance, and 4-6 percent annual RevPAR growth in 2015 through 2017.
At the meeting, the company said it had focused on aggressive growth in new markets and new brands. In recent years, Marriott has introduced or acquired six brands - Gaylord, Moxy, EDITION, Protea, AC Hotels by Marriott and Autograph Collection - each positioned to capture a new customer or provide a new stay experience for our already loyal customers, and expected to account for 20 percent of the company’s unit growth through 2017.
Meanwhile, it said its luxury and lifestyle portfolio was in position to capture the loyalties of Generations X and Y, which it said are expected to account for 90 percent of the working age population within a decade.
Brands set to meet their demand include The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Renaissance, EDITION, AC Hotels by Marriott, Moxy and Autograph Collection.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.