Marriott reveals expansion plans

Marriott International has unveiled plans to add more than 34,000 rooms to new properties in 43 countries outside the US and Canada over the next four years. The 34,000 additional rooms will come in the form of more than 140 new hotels and resorts, and are part of Marriott International’s growth strategy. There are more than 125,000 rooms under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development as of December 2007. Marriott International’s expansion is a response to an “exploding, worldwide middle class and rising consumer confidence coupled with a desire to satisfy individual tastes and interests”. Marriott International president and managing director of international lodging Ed Fuller said: “We have signed contracts for all 140 hotels and are excited to be in a position to respond so positively to this coming wave of travellers.” Property openings anticipated for the next four years include: luxury JW Marriott hotels in the UK, China, India the UAE, Kazakhstan, and Colombia; deluxe Marriott-branded hotels in Macau, Hong Kong, Pune, Dubai, Phuket and Mexico City; and deluxe Renaissance-branded hotels in Bangalore, the Maldives, Paris and Doha. Fuller added that responsible and sustainable development would form an important part of the expansion and Marriott International has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 million tons by 2010 among other environmental initiatives. “Those of us in the travel industry have a role to play now in reducing our impact on the air we breathe, the water we drink and the destinations where we do business,” he said.

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