By Andy Sambidge
US hotel giant says occupancy also up 4.1%; plans to double footprint in region by 2017
US hotel giant Marriott International has announced that its RevPAR (revenue per available room) rose by more than 11 percent in the first quarter of 2013.
The hospitality operator said the RevPAR increase was driven predominantly by a 4.1 percent growth in first quarter occupancy in the region.
New figures have revealed that Marriott International plans to double its footprint in the Middle East and Africa by 2017, which currently has 45 announced hotels with 10,875 rooms.
Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director of Marriott International, Middle East and Africa, said: "These remarkable results clearly re-emphasise Marriott International's commitment to the Middle East and Africa region, continuing to contribute to the ongoing growth of the region's hospitality industry.
"Our system continues to improve, and with our focus on the company's flagship brand, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, as well as the extended stay sector and mobile technology, there is a lot more to come in 2013.
"Marriott International will be perfectly placed to accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the region."
Marriott International's development pipeline in the Middle East and Africa continues to grow with the announcement of five new property signings, adding a further 1,027 rooms to its system.
They include the 186-room Rabat Marriott Hotel which will open in Morocco next year, while the 181-room Constantine Marriott Hotel in Algeria and 210-room Courtyard by Marriott Riyadh North in Saudi Arabia will open in 2015.
It will also feature the 300-room JW Marriott Casablanca in Morocco and 150-room Lagos Marriott Hotel in Nigeria in 2016.
Marriott International's portfolio in the Middle East and Africa currently comprises 43 properties in 12 countries, offering 12,919 rooms across seven lodging brands. It is set to expand by 45 properties and 10,875 rooms by 2018.
In February, Marriott International, operator of The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott brands, said it has $3.5bn worth of real estate currently under construction in the Middle East and Africa.
The US-based hotelier, which operates 3,800 properties in over 74 countries, said it was in talks with several investors to open new hotels in Saudi Arabia and will continue to grow its presence in the UAE.