Marriott to open 1,300 new hotels, 200,000 new rooms by 2017

Marriott International could be adding 1,300 new hotels and 200,000 new rooms to its portfolio by 2017 as a rising middle class and an improving economy boost travel spending.

Marriott expects to open more than six hotels a week on average through 2017, bringing its portfolio to 5,000 hotels in 100 countries. The company plans to announce its three-year forecasts at a meeting of institutional investors today.

"This is a great time to be in the hotel business," said chief executive Arne Sorenson. "Around the world, this is a golden age of travel. In North America, we believe we are only midway through an elongated lodging cycle, with considerable upside to come."

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Internationally, Marriott expects to double its portfolio in its second largest division, Asia Pacific, by 2017.

In the Middle East and Africa, Marriott expects to grow its portfolio to more than 31,000 rooms by 2017 on a 24 percent to 26 percent compound growth rate from 2013. In 2013, Marriott boosted its presence in the region through a $200-million acquisition of Protea Hospitality Holdings, one of Africa's largest hotel companies.

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