LIMA, PERU—Latin America and the Caribbean will be a key driver of Marriott International’s hotel and jobs growth over the next three years. At this week’s World Travel & Tourism Conference (WTTC), Craig S. Smith, president of the Caribbean and Latin America at Marriott International, Inc. stated that in Latin America alone, the company expects to close 2017 with 150 hotels across 25 countries, nearly doubling its portfolio in Latin America.
“We see expansion of the middle class and continued growth in disposable income fueling worldwide travel among Latin Americans,” said Smith. “This new generation of travelers is seeking a seamless experience, including easier visa and entry processes along with more choices and innovative services to book and explore destinations. Building a healthy travel industry will also ensure economic growth and job creation.”
In 2013, more than 1.1 billion people traveled outside their home borders. Marriott expects to see two billion global travelers by 2030, and Latin Americans will play a big role in the growth of global travel. In addition, as more people travel, the growth in hotels means more jobs which equates to more customers, a “virtuous cycle.”
In the next four years, Marriott plans to grow in the region from 82 hotels and nearly 23,000 rooms in the Caribbean and Latin America to 150 hotels and 27,000 associates by 2017 across 10 lodging brands and 25 countries.