On the heels of the 16th Hotel Investment Conference—South Asia (HICSA 2021), Marriott International has signed 22 new hotel agreements in South Asia—comprising India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal—in the past 18 months, expecting to add more than 2,700 rooms to its fast-growing portfolio. Marriott International currently is the hotel chain with the largest number of rooms in the South Asia region and expects to continue its solid growth with these new signings, according to the company.
“In a highly unpredictable year, these signings are a testament to Marriott International’s resilience and agility in driving strong growth within a hospitality landscape that continues to evolve,” said Rajeev Menon, president, Asia-Pacific (excluding Greater China), Marriott International. “It is a sign of confidence from our owners and franchisees who have been an integral part of our growth journey. We are grateful for their continued support and trust in the power of our brands as we continue to welcome back travelers.”
“These signings reinforce our commitment to South Asia as a high potential region where we continue to grow and engage with an expanding customer base by introducing more of Marriott’s brands and unique experiences in exciting destinations,” said Kiran Andicot, regional VP, Development, South Asia, Marriott International. “We look forward to the opening of these new hotels in the future and to exploring future development opportunities throughout the region.”
Owner desire for luxury brands
More than a third of the newly signed projects in South Asia in the last 18 months include hotels and resorts in the luxury-tier, comprised of brands such as JW Marriott and W Hotels. This reflects travelers’ growing demand for bespoke and superb amenities and services. Travelers can anticipate the debut of the W Hotels brand in Jaipur with W Jaipur in 2024. Once opened, the hotel expects to disrupt the norms of traditional luxury with its iconic service, infectious energy and innovative experiences. Rooted in holistic well-being, JW Marriott properties offer a haven designed to allow guests to focus on feeling whole—present in mind, nourished in body and revitalized in spirit. Expecting to debut across several distinctive locations within South Asia over the next five years, travelers can look forward to JW Marriott Ranthambore Resort & Spa located at one of India’s most prominent wildlife sanctuaries, The Ranthambore National Park; JW Marriott Chennai ECR Resort & Spa on India’s beautiful Southern coastline; JW Marriott Agra Resort & Spa in the land of the TAJ MAHAL; and the debut of the JW Marriott brand in Goa and Shimla—two of India’s most famous resort destinations—with JW Marriott Hotel Goa and JW Marriott Shimla Resort & Spa.
JW Marriott Hotel Bhutan, Thimphu is expected to mark the debut of the JW Marriott brand in Bhutan, is anticipated to open in 2025 and offer curated experiences that celebrate the peaceful spirit of the land.
Maldives anticipates its second JW Marriott hotel in 2025, when the JW Marriott Resort & Spa, Embhoodhoo Finolhu—South Male Atoll featuring 80 pool villas is expected to open. The signing follows the newly opened The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, strengthening Marriott’s footprint on the famed leisure destination.
Select brands continue to drive growth
Comprised of brands such as Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft Hotels and Moxy Hotels, Marriott’s select brands also continue to resonate in South Asia representing more than 40% of the 22 newly signed hotel projects. The Moxy brand, known for its experiential, playful style and approachable price point, is expected to debut in India and Nepal with Moxy Mumbai Andheri West in 2023 and the Moxy Kathmandu in 2025.
Secondary and tertiary markets remain a focus for Marriott International in India, leveraging strong demand by owners and travelers for select brands. Designed for the modern business traveler, the Courtyard by Marriott and Fairfield by Marriott brands are committed to smart and thoughtful guest service, no matter the purpose of their trip. With the recently signed agreements, Courtyard by Marriott expects to add five new properties to an existing operating portfolio of 20 hotels across South Asia. Four of these properties are expected to open in the next five years and will be located in leading tier-two markets within India: Courtyard by Marriott Gorakhpur; Courtyard by Marriott Tiruchirappalli; Courtyard by Marriott Goa Arpora; and Courtyard by Marriott Ranchi. Fairfield expects to add two new properties in Jaipur. In Sri Lanka, the Courtyard by Marriott Colombo expects to mark the debut of the Courtyard brand in the country, slated to open in 2022.
Premium brands cement their foothold
Expected to further the growth of premium brands in South Asia, the recent signings include the Katra Marriott Resort & Spa in India and the Le Meridien Kathmandu, which is expected to be the debut of the Le Meridien brand in Nepal. Additionally, the Bhaluka Marriott Hotel expects to mark the entry of the Marriott Hotels brand in Bangladesh, anticipated to open in 2024.
Marriott International is well-positioned in South Asia with 135 operating hotels across 16 distinct brands in five countries, aimed at providing differentiated experiences across traveler segments. The brands currently operating in South Asia include: JW Marriott, St. Regis, The Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels and The Luxury Collection in the luxury segment; Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Tribute Portfolio, Le Meridien, Renaissance and the Marriott Executive Apartments in the premium segment; Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Fairfield by Marriott and Aloft Hotels, in the select-service segment.