INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Marriott International Inc. has opened its 800th property in Asia-Pacific, the JW Marriott Nara in Japan.
The opening marks the entry of the JW Marriott brand into Japan. The company also expects the Edition and Aloft brands to debut in Japan before the end of the year. Across the Asia-Pacific region throughout 2020, the Moxy brand anticipates its first hotel opening in China.
“We remain confident in the resilience of travel, our owners and franchisees, guests and associates as well as the future prospects of lodging in Asia-Pacific, our second largest market,” said Craig S. Smith, group president, Asia-Pacific, Marriott International. “We are encouraged by recent trends, especially in China, where demand has been driven primarily by domestic tourism, and we will continue to focus on strengthening our footprint in this important, growing market.”
Marriott in Asia-Pacific has, on average, added close to 80 hotels per year in the last three years, with its pipeline growing by nearly 10% annually over the same time period. In the first half of 2020 alone, the company recorded 73 new signings, including 43 in the Greater China region.
“These highly anticipated brand debuts are a testament to the confidence that the owner and franchisee community has in Asia-Pacific, as well as Marriott International’s long-term vision, especially in today’s challenging business climate,” said Paul Foskey, chief development officer, Asia-Pacific, Marriott International.
In the last three years in the region, the company saw a 20% increase in the number of conversion hotels added to the portfolio on an annual basis. Conversions allow owners and franchisees to plug into the Marriott system at a quicker pace compared to opening a new-build hotel. This year, the company signed Singapore’s first two Autograph Collection hotels, both anticipated to fly the brand flag in 2021.
With six billion domestic trips made in 2019 alone in China, largely attributed to a rise in average disposable income, demand for brands positioned at a moderate price point, such as Fairfield and Moxy, has gained momentum amongst both travelers and hotel owners. To meet this growing demand and support franchisees, the company has introduced an “enhanced franchise” model. Under this model, Marriott will appoint a general manager for the first year of a hotel’s opening to help train and equip franchisees to leverage Marriott’s systems.