INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Marriott International Inc. continues to expand its portfolio, expecting to open 100 properties in Asia-Pacific in 2021, bringing more brands and experiences to new destinations for guests across the region. In 2020, the company celebrated its 800th milestone hotel opening in the region with 75 properties added to its portfolio during the year, representing more than one opening per week across the region. Nearly 27,000 rooms were added to the region’s development pipeline in 2020 alone, in addition to the signing of Marriott’s largest branded residences project with close to 4,200 units.
“I am proud of the way we have continued to grow and have moved quickly to adapt to the challenges that arose from the pandemic,” said Craig S. Smith, group president, international, Marriott International. “With the launch of new global industry hygiene standards in April 2020, innovative offerings such as work anywhere packages and hyper-localized marketing and sales strategies, our nimble and forward-thinking approach will continue to lead us through the recovery. We are grateful for the continued resilience and positivity demonstrated by our associates and for the confidence our guests, owners and franchisees continue to have in us. We remain well-positioned to meet the travel demands of our guests across Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world.”
Greater China has led the global recovery to date, and the company expects to soon celebrate its 400th hotel there and its 50th hotel in Shanghai with the opening of JW Marriott Shanghai Fengxian in spring 2021.
According to a joint report by consultancy Bain & Co. and Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury unit, Mainland China is on track to become the world’s largest personal luxury market by 2025, even seeing year-over-year domestic growth in 2020 despite the pandemic. To leverage this trend, Marriott International continues to strengthen its luxury portfolio with expected openings in 2021 such as W Changsha, W Xiamen, St. Regis Qingdao and The Ritz-Carlton Reserve Jiuzhaigou. With the anticipated opening of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve, China will be the first country in Asia-Pacific to house all of Marriott International’s luxury hallmarks.
Marriott’s leisure bookings in China have been particularly strong, up more than 25% year-over-year in the third quarter in Mainland China, demonstrating the resiliency of demand once consumers are comfortable that the virus is under control and restrictions can safely be lifted. The company is introducing more travel experiences across its brand portfolio, including at popular leisure destinations such as Mianyang in the Sichuan province with the expected opening of Sheraton Mianyang, as well in the culturally-rich destination of Nanjing with the anticipated opening of The Westin Nanjing Resort & Spa.
Beyond Greater China, Marriott International continues to strengthen its footprint, with several expected brand debuts across Asia-Pacific in 2021. In Japan, W Hotels is expected to debut with the opening of W Osaka, while The Luxury Collection is also slated to debut in Australia with the opening of The Tasman in Hobart. The Ritz-Carlton brand is expected to make its debut in Maldives in early summer.
Further expanding Marriott’s presence in resort destinations, the JW Marriott brand is slated to bring its luxury experience to Jeju Island in South Korea with the planned opening of JW Marriott Jeju in late 2021. The company’s signature wellness brand, Westin, is also anticipated to debut in one of India’s top beach destinations, Goa, this summer.
To support domestic travel in Japan, the company plans to open six additional Fairfield by Marriott hotels throughout 2021 along ‘Michi-no-Eki’ roadside stations aimed at revitalizing the country’s local sightseeing spots. Japan expects to have more than 30 Fairfield by Marriott hotels by the end of 2023. Australia’s Melbourne is expected to see the opening of the country’s second W Hotel with W Melbourne in spring and the opening of Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands in early 2021.
“The strength of our pipeline is testament to the long-term growth prospects in Asia-Pacific,” said Paul Foskey, chief development officer, Asia-Pacific, Marriott International. “Despite a challenging environment in 2020, we are pleased with the signings we have achieved across the region during the year. We have full gratitude to our owners and franchisees for their belief in the resiliency of travel and the strength of Marriott’s portfolio of brands.”