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Strong growth continues at Marriott International

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, May 04 - 2004 @ 14:51

In 2003, the company added 175 hotels and more than 31,000 rooms. Another 38 hotels joined Marriott’s portfolio in the first quarter of 2004, 42 per cent of which were conversions from other brands, providing strong proof of the preference Marriott’s lodging brands enjoy among hotel owners and travelers worldwide.

Ed Fuller, President and Managing Director of International Lodging, Marriott International, said: “This growth is remarkable in the face of the enormous challenges our industry has faced over the past three years. At some point in the next month, we will reach our 500,000-room milestone and with 50,000 rooms in our development pipeline or under construction, we expect to add another 175 hotels this year.”

In the Middle East, Marriott recently introduced its mid-priced Courtyard brand with the 306-room Courtyard by Marriott Kuwait City. A second Courtyard property will open later this year in the region, the 164-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Dubai Green Community. Mr. Fuller said Courtyard hotels are aimed at business and leisure travelers who require consistently great accommodations at moderate prices.

“With a portfolio of 25 luxury and upscale hotels and resorts in the Middle East, we are now expanding our lodging product in the region by introducing our Courtyard brand, thus giving travelers more options of where to stay. This pattern supports our development strategy of establishing a strong presence in major cities and recognized resort destinations and then following up with our mid-tier lodging brand,” added Fuller.

Elsewhere, Mr. Fuller said that Marriott will open more than 30 hotels outside of North America this year. Among these are:

• A 116-room Renaissance Bali Resort & Spa in Indonesia
• Two properties in Malaysia — 225-room Miri Marriott Resort & Spa and 291-room Kota Kinabalu Hotel
• A 308-room Marriott property in Hyderabad, India
• Four hotels in Italy — the 220-room Renaissance Naples Grande Albergo Mediterraneo, 61-room Capri Marriott Tiberio Palace Resort & Spa, 571-room Rome Marriott Park Hotel and 185-room Courtyard by Marriott Rome Airport
• Three hotels in China — 284-room Renaissance Tianjin TEDA, 105-room Ramada Hotel Wuyishan and the company’s first resort in China, the 453-room Sanya Marriott Resort

In China, the company recently announced two luxury properties for Beijing—the 591-room JW Marriott Hotel Beijing and the 320-room The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, both of which will open in 2007, in time for the 2008 Olympiad in Beijing.

Samir Daqqaq, Vice President for Global Sales, Marriott International in Middle East, Africa and the Subcontinent, said: “The Middle East, Africa and the Subcontinent has witnessed tremendous growth in the first quarter of 2004 compared to the same period in 2003. The productivity in Business Transient Segment (B2C) has increased by 73 per cent in first quarter of 2004 while the strategic accounts productivity has spurted by 127 per cent over Q1 2003. For Toll Free segment (B2C/B2B), the call volume has grown by 21 per cent in the first quarter of 2004, while reservations have increased by 15 per cent. The other growth sectors are GDS/ Internet bookings (63 per cent), TMC segment (99 per cent) and Wholesale (90 per cent).”

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Marriott added two venerable properties earlier this year to its portfolio — the 374-room Grosvenor House Hotel on prestigious Park Lane in London and the 168-room Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. Following extensive restoration programs, the hotels will be rebranded to a JW Marriott and Renaissance hotel, respectively. With the opening of the 300-room London Marriott Hotel West India Quay and the 47-unit West India Quay Marriott Executive Apartments in late spring, the Marriott International portfolio in Greater London will total 25 properties, the largest of any hotel company in terms of numbers of hotels.

“Marriott International is pleased to see an increase in worldwide lodging demand and is encouraged by indications of an upsurge in travel for the rest of year,” concluded Fuller.

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Tuesday, May 4- 2004 @ 14:51 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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