Marriott to open more than 1,700 hotels globally in three years

Marriott International's three-year growth plan includes adding between 275,000-295,000 rooms to its portfolio by 2021

Arne Sorenson
Arne Sorenson

Marriott International's three-year growth plan, presented to investors and analysts, includes opening more than 1,700 hotels around the world, along with adding between 275,000 and 295,000 rooms by 2021.

The operator already has 30 brands across more than 6,900 properties in more than 130 countries. Its growth model also shows that US$9.5 to $11 billion could be returned to shareholders.

Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson said in a statement: "Starwood has made us a more formidable competitor, providing a more valuable loyalty programme, brands with strong appeal to loyalty members and owners, talented associates, terrific locations, particularly in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region, significant cost synergies and meaningful scale."

During the meeting, Sorenson said in front of the audience: "It has been an interesting 2018 for us. As we gather here this morning, one of the conversations that we have with many of you us, 'How's that Starwood integration going? Where are you in the process of pulling this together?'" He said 2018 showed the company "some of the bumps" they hit in the process of completing the merger. In 2018, one of the bumps that Marriott hit was when 500 million hotel guests may have had their data compromised in a hack of the Starwood reservation database.

Sorenson also called the acquisition a "spectacular opportunity for Marriott". Marriott's development pipeline reflects an increasing number of legacy-Starwood branded hotels. Since the merger date, the pipeline of legacy-Starwood brands has increased nearly 25% to represent nearly one-third of the legacy-Starwood portfolio's system size. 

The aim of the acquisition, Sorenson added, was to deliver both top-line and bottom-line synergies to investors. The company has confirmed that 70% of its portfolio of open and signed pipeline projects is held by owners with multiple Marriott properties, and roughly one-third is held by owners with 10 or more Marriott branded hotels.

Sorenson noted: "We launched our newly branded loyalty programme, Marriott Bonvoy, just last month. The programme reached 125 million members as of year-end 2018 adding roughly 50,000 members per day."

Marriott also discussed its Sheraton brand strategy; the brand is the company's third largest globally measured in both rooms and fees. In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guest room prototype and design approach, and just a week ago, unveiled the new Sheraton logo, signalling change to owners, operators, guests and Sheraton associates. Since the acquisition, Sheraton's RevPAR index has improved to over 100.

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