Marriott looks to expand in China as growth hits double digits

by Alister POOLE on May 25, 2010

Marriott International Inc, the US largest hotel brand, will look to double its number of properties in China by 2015.

In addition to the five-year expansion plan in China, the hotel group also announced it would begin introducing a budget line of hotels not far in the future. Marriott currently has 46 hotels in China, but hopes to have 60 by the end of 2010, and 90 by the end of 2015.

The five-year expansion will make China, the hotel group’s second largest market in terms of property numbers. The news of the increase in hotels was announced on Monday in Shanghai by Marriott’s president Arne Sorenson.

Sorenson said to the press that by the end of the year, China will represent one of Marriott’s largest market sectors. He also added that the hotel chain would seek to begin a new range of lower-priced hotels in China, but that would still carry the Marriott branding. The line would be similar to Fairfield, which the hotel group already operates in the US.

According to Sorenson, the hotels in China are under 10 per cent of the company’s overall sales, but that its growth had carried into the double-digits. Marriott was able to post a higher-than-expected quarterly profit in April and said room rates were expected to go up by this year.

So far, Marriott seems unaffected by the European debt crisis, but Sorenson said he thinks that the hotel business will see little impact during the financial crisis in Europe.

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