In 2017, Marriott Became More International than Ever

The world’s largest hotel company signed contracts for a record 55,000 guestrooms in markets outside North America, mostly targeting Europe and Asia.

Leeny Oberg, Marriott executive VP & CFO.
Leeny Oberg, Marriott executive VP & CFO.

This past year was a record-setting one for Marriott International, which is expanding globally, especially in Europe and Asia, at a furious clip. 2017 was Marriott’s most successful year for signing development contracts outside North America.

At year’s end 2017, the company operated or franchised more than 6,500 hotels worldwide and more than 1.25 million guestrooms, a third of which are outside North America.

During the year, Marriott and its franchisees opened more than 470 hotels totaling more than 76,000 guestrooms around the world, including more than 140 hotels and about 30,000 guestrooms outside North America.

As to its pipeline, in 2017 the company signed more than 750 contracts for new hotels worldwide, representing nearly 125,000 guestrooms under long-term management and franchise agreements. Its global pipeline now stands at a record 460,000 guestrooms, more than half of them outside North America.

Currently, the Asia/Pacific market represents 15 percent of Marriott’s guestrooms globally, but nearly a third of the company’s pipeline.

Beyond just the growth in quantity, Marriott is looking to drive economic value. Of the company’s guestroom signings, nearly 80 percent were in the three highest-quality tiers (luxury, upper upscale and upscale), for which Marriott expects to boost RevPAR and fee revenue.

Marriott opened properties in five new countries and territories and now has a presence in 127 countries and territories around the world, Tony Capuano, executive VP & global chief development officer, said in a prepared statement. “We are particularly pleased with the accelerating growth of our legacy Starwood brands.”

Reverberations from a merger

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,” added Leeny Oberg, Marriott executive VP & CFO.

Completed in September 2016, the Marriott/Starwood merger created the world’s largest hotel company.

This past summer, Marriott announced plans to move its headquarters to a campus in Bethesda, Md., where it will occupy a 22-story office building developed by The Bernstein Cos. and Boston Properties. The $600 million campus will also include a 230-key flagship hotel, owned by Bernstein and managed by Marriott.

The project is scheduled for completion in 2022.

Image courtesy of Marriott International