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11/15/2011

Marriott International Announces its 100th Hotel in China

Renaissance Sanya Resort & Spa exteriorUS-based hospitality leader will open one hotel a month in China for at least the next three years.

Marriott International is further cementing its position as a leader in the hospitality sector in China with the signing of its 100th hotel – the 345-room JW Marriott Hotel Shenyang.

Marriott International, which currently operates 56 hotels in China representing The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance, Courtyard and Marriott Executive Apartments brands, has a pipeline of confirmed projects totaling 44 hotels across it brand portfolio.

China is one of Marriott International’s most important markets outside of the US, and the company is committed to long-term growth and robust expansion throughout the region. It expects to open a hotel in China at the rate of one per month during the next three years.

Commenting on Marriott International’s growth plans, Simon Cooper, Marriott International’s president and managing director, Asia Pacific, said: “China is an incredible market and it is a great endorsement of our operations in the country that we have reached the benchmark of 100 hotels open or under development here. While we have been operating in Hong Kong since 1989, we are a relative newcomer to the mainland, having opened our first Marriott-branded hotel in China in 1998. However, during a relatively short history on the mainland, we have seen solid and consistent growth and are already one of the leading lodging groups in the country.

“Marriott International’s brands clearly resonate with our Chinese guests, and we have taken a very strategic approach to the location and branding of our hotels in the county in order to deliver excellence across our portfolio. Being based in Hong Kong and Beijing enables us to communicate face to face with our owners and customers and to be nimble and responsive to their needs. Asia is a key market for us, and China is the driver of Asia: we are totally committed to the country and to our operations here.”

Marriott International, which has operated in Hong Kong since 1991 - and in Beijing since 1998 - recently became the first international lodging group to move its entire Asia-Pacific HQ to China. As a significant sign of its commitment to the country, the US-based lodging company established a senior leadership team for the region based in Hong Kong, with its own president for the continent so they can be closer and more responsive to their key growth market of China. 

The company, which recently announced free High Speed Internet Access for all of its Marriott Rewards members - its free-to-join loyalty programme – when they stay in Asia, has seen stellar growth among Chinese guests. While membership of Marriott Rewards has increased some 50% in Asia in the past three years, the rate of growth among Chinese guests has been almost double that with China now the fastest growing market in the world for the programme. Marriott Rewards membership is expected to double in China by the end of this year.

Brand offering
Marriott International’s growth in the mainland has been led by its luxury brands, which this month saw The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong voted as the best hotel in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. With Ritz-Carlton hotels in Beijing (2), Shanghai (2), Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Sanya and Hong Kong, The Ritz-Carlton is now by far the leading international luxury brand in the country. With new hotels in Chengdu, Qingdao, Tianjin, Nanjing, Wuhan and Dalian set to join an impressive portfolio that includes the world’s tallest hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, Ritz-Carlton is poised to further strengthen its substantial lead in China’s luxury lodging space.

The company’s signature Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand is in great demand with 11 open hotels and 17 signed hotel projects in the pipeline, while the luxury brand JW Marriott is represented by six open hotels with a further four expected to open in the next three years.

Marriott International’s lifestyle brand, Renaissance Hotels, is proving hugely popular in China with 14 hotels, such as the iconic 500+ room Renaissance Sanya which opened in May, and an additional seven hotels in the pipeline; while the company’s mid-range brand, Courtyard, offers huge potential with 10 open hotels and seven in the pipeline.

Marriott International enjoys a leadership position in Shanghai where the company operates 18 hotels across its brand portfolio with an additional five hotels expected to open in the next three years in that city alone.

New to Marriott International’s China portfolio
This year Marriott International has so far signed deals for an additional 26 hotels to join its portfolio in China:
• Courtyard by Marriott Huangshan
• Courtyard by Marriott Hangzhou Canal
• Courtyard by Marriott Boluo
• Courtyard by Marriott Suqian
• Wuxi Marriott Hotel
• Haikou Marriott Resort & Spa
• Changzhou Marriott Hotel
• Shanghai Marriott Hotel Pudong East
• Changxing Marriott Hotel
• Shijiazhuang Marriott Hotel
• Xiangshui Bay Marriott Resort & Spa
• Wuhu Marriott Hotel
• Marriott Dujiangyan Hotel
• Renaissance Shenyang Hotel
• Renaissance Zhuzhou Hotel
• Renaissance Shanghai Caohejing Hotel
• Renaissance Guiyang Hotel
• The OCT Bay, Shenzhen – Marriott Executive Apartments
• The Master Square, Chengdu – Marriott Executive Apartments
• The Imperial Mansion, Beijing Marriott Executive Apartments
• JW Marriott Hotel Shenyang
• The Ritz-Carlton, Qingdao
• The Ritz-Carlton, Wuhan
• The Ritz-Carlton, Dalian
• The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin
• The Ritz-Carlton, Nanjing
 
“While our brands and hotels enjoy great distribution and visibility in the key cities, we are also looking at growing our brands in areas outside the key gateway cities,” Cooper continued. “We will continue to expand our luxury and first-class brands, but also believe our Courtyard brand offers us great potential to move quickly into some of these cities. The brand value offering makes it a great choice for guests looking for international quality brands in locations away form China’s main urban centers.”

As a part of its commitment to China, and in line with its own Sprit to Serve heritage and environmental vision, Marriott International launched a social responsibility programme last year called ‘Nobility of Nature’. This is a collaboration between Marriott International and Conservation International to support fresh water conservation and assist rural communities with sustainable business that put less stress on the environment in China. Marriott International has invested USD500,000 seed money to the programme for providing grants, training, resources and community development for local villages in Sichuan Province where the world’s largest fresh water source is located. The Nobility of Nature programme already supports two projects in Pingwu and Yingjing counties. 

Marriott International recently opened a dedicated Global Reservation Sales and Customer Care Centre in Guangzhou. This facility is servicing Marriott Worldwide Reservations, Customer Care and Marriott Rewards for the company’s hotels throughout greater China and is a key component of the company’s ability to better serve its Chinese guests and customers.

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.

NOTE: The statements about the number of hotels that Marriott expects to open in China are “forward looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.