Marriott International says it is on track to hit a target of 50 hotels for its Australia, New Zealand and Pacific portfolio by the end of 2020.
The announcement follows Marriott’s recently completed acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
With 24 hotels currently in operation and a pipeline of signed and approved deals totalling an additional 18 properties, Marriott says it is on track to grow to 50 hotels over the next four years across the region, which includes Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia.
The current pipeline properties will provide more than 2,500 hotel jobs and add more than 4,500 rooms.
“This is an extremely exciting time for Marriott as we significantly grow our footprint in the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific region, and continue to build on our leadership position in gateway markets,” Marriott International’s President and Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Craig S. Smith, said in Sydney this morning (Nov 2).
“We currently have seven of our 30 brands represented here and we look forward to introducing more in the coming years.
“Growth in the region has been strong in recent years and we hope to build on that growth now that the Starwood deal has closed.
“We are growing an in-market development team, including specialist feasibility and architecture, and construction capabilities, which will make a huge difference in our ability to respond to a high level of new project enquiry.
“Demand continues to be high from both consumers and developers, and with the wide variety of brands available, from mid-scale to luxury, we expect more great opportunities to brand further high quality, international-standard hotels in the region,” he said.
Marriott International is set to expand rapidly across Australia in particular over the next few years. The world’s largest hotel company already has a strong market presence in the key gateway cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane, and will be entering emerging primary and secondary destinations, with the signings of Four Points by Sheraton Parramatta, The Westin Resort and Spa Coolum, Aloft Adelaide and Sheraton Adelaide Hotel.
Three additional brands, Aloft, W and The Ritz-Carlton are expected to be introduced to the region by the end of 2020, with the W Brisbane and Aloft Perth scheduled to open in 2017, followed by Aloft Melbourne South Yarra and Aloft Adelaide in 2019, and The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne and The Ritz-Carlton, Perth slated for 2020.
Accompanying Smith on his visit to the region, Sean Hunt, Marriott International’s recently appointed Area Vice President for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, said there were several factors driving this growth.
“Our success and exponential growth is being fuelled by a number of factors, including the rapidly increasing consumer demand for quality and premium lodging options, the strength of our brands and the high returns these offer our owners, and the benefits of the merger and our vast and global network and systems,” he said.
“The incredibly high number of loyalty members we have in the Australian market, which is currently sitting at over 1 million, will also play a key role in our growth strategy.
“Australia is experiencing strong visitor arrival numbers and there is a significant shortage of hotel rooms in major cities around the country, in particular Sydney and Melbourne.
“Demand for quality accommodations is outstripping supply and despite having over 3,800 additional rooms already signed across Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney, there’s still room for more.
“Marriott International has the clear number one position for upper upscale and luxury hotels in Australia and New Zealand’s most important international gateway markets. It’s a real positive for any new hotel to have a brand that’s recognised and admired in those source markets,” Hunt said.
Marriott International is on track to boast the largest portfolio of upper upscale and luxury brands and properties across the Pacific region by 2020.
“As the world’s largest lodging company with a portfolio consisting of eight iconic and distinct luxury brands, we also have a role to play in developing and expanding Australia’s luxury portfolio,” Smith said.
“Our robust pipeline for the region includes the introduction of three hotels from of our top-tier luxury brands signalling a demand for upper upscale services in the market. We will see The Ritz-Carlton re-enter Australia with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Perth and The Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, and 2017 will see the re-entry of the famed W Hotels brand with the opening of W Brisbane.
“Australia is doing a fantastic job of driving interest from this segment by showcasing the premium product and experiences available here, but, as across the board in this market, demand is still outweighing the hotel product available,” he said.