Earlier this week, Marriott International announced it was opening two JW Marriott properties in India - specifically in Bengaluru and New Delhi. However, the company announced that it is picking up the pace on its India expansion, with new plans to open 12 new hotels in India by 2015.
"Currently we have about six to eight definite openings in 2014 and 2015 is going to be a very strong year for us," Rajeev Menon, area VP, South Asia and Australia, of Marriott Hotels, told the Economic Times. The first of these properties to open was a 523-room JW Marriott at the Aerocity Hospitality district near the Delhi airport.
"This property is not outside the city and we hope to have an average length of stay of two to three nights as opposed to the global average of approximately six hours at airport hotels," Simon Cooper, president and managing director, Asia-Pacific, at Marriott International, told the Economic Times.
Firstpost Business reported that Marriott is gearing up for an even larger push into the country, aiming to increase its existing 23 properties to 100 hotels by 2017-2018. Of these 100 properties, approximately 40 will be of the Fairfield brand, while other future projects in the country include two Renaissance properties in Lucknow and Bangalore, two JW Marriott hotels in Mumbai and Kolkata, three Courtyard by Marriott hotels in Agra, Bilaspur and Jaisalmer and a potential resort property in Goa.
Cooper told Firstpost Business that he would be willing to participate in the auction of the Taj Mansingh’s, but only with a partner in real estate. “We are in the business of global hospitality. We are not in the business of global real estate," Cooper said. "So, we try to find partners everywhere we go who’s business is real estate, they understand real estate."
Marriott International is just the most recent in a series of brands ramping up India expansion. Accor recently announced that it will be opening 19 new properties in India under the Hotel Formule1 brand, with 10 expected to be completed by the end of 2014 and a total of 47 hotels opened in India by 2015. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) partnered with the Brigade Group to build 10 Holiday Inn Express properties in India by 2020. The hotels will be owned by the Brigade Group and operated by IHG, with the first two properties expected to open their doors in Bangalore by early 2017, while the remaining eight properties open over the next four to seven years. Rotana also set a target to have at least 20 hotels in India over the next ten years, both under its flagship Rotana other sub-brands.