Marriott marks 2017 as its most successful for international expansion

The Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre. Photo credit: Marriott International

Marriott International is looking back at 2017 as the company’s most successful year for signing development contracts outside of North America, fueled by record signings for the company in Asia and Europe.

Globally, at year-end 2017, the company operated or franchised more than 6,500 hotels and more than 1.25 million rooms, with a third of the rooms located outside North America. Marriott International and its franchisees opened more than 470 hotels with more than 76,000 rooms around the world during the year.

“Marriott International continued to increase its global presence in 2017, opening properties in five new countries and territories and reaching a presence in 127 countries and territories around the world,” Tony Capuano, EVP and global chief development officer at Marriott International, said in a statement. “Our growth is fueled by the broadest portfolio of lodging brands in the industry, impressive international expansion, and a large proportion of projects in the most valuable tiers. We are particularly pleased with the accelerating growth of our legacy Starwood brands.”

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In 2017, the company signed more than 750 contracts for new hotels representing nearly 125,000 rooms under long‐term management and franchise agreements. Its global pipeline grew to a record 460,000 rooms, more than half of which are located outside of North America.

“Marriott’s growing development pipeline in 2017 was fueled in part by synergies associated with the Starwood acquisition. We expect owners will see additional benefits as we continue to realize more synergies, including the harmonization of our reservation platform currently in the works and high value relationships like the recently completed co-brand credit card agreements with American Express and JP Morgan Chase,” Leeny Oberg, EVP and CFO at Marriott International, said in a statement.

The Sanya Edition Hotel in China. Photo credit: Marriott International

Outside of North America, Marriott opened more than 140 hotels and approximately 30,000 rooms in 2017. In the Asia-Pacific market alone, the company opened 18,000 rooms and signed 31,000 rooms in 2017. Today, the Asia-Pacific market represents 15 percent of Marriott’s global rooms and nearly a third of the company’s pipeline. Greater China alone represents 8 percent of the company’s global rooms and 19 percent of the year-end pipeline. In Europe, Marriott opened 5,800 rooms and signed 12,000 rooms in 2017. Hotels in Europe represent 9 percent of Marriott’s global room distribution.

In North America, there were 329 hotel openings in 2017 and 482 contracts signed. Interest also grew in the Caribbean and Latin American region with 19 hotel openings with a record 37 signed deals in 2017. In the Middle East and Africa region, Marriott opened 12 hotels and ended the year with 30 signed contracts.

In 2017, Marriott also signed a record 578 contracts for its 11 brands such as Courtyard, Moxy and AC. Outside of North America, select-service signings totaled 158 contracts with particular strength in the Asia-Pacific region. In North America alone, the company opened 270 select-service hotels and signed 420 select-service agreements.

Of the company’s room signings last year, nearly 80 percent were in the industry’s three highest-quality tiers—luxury, upper-upscale and upscale. At year end, Marriott’s seven luxury brands were represented by 469 open hotels. The company’s luxury hotel pipeline totaled more than 200 projects, of which nearly half were under conversion or construction.