Marriott International, which owns Ritz Carlton and J W Marriott hotel brands, plans to open 52 more properties in the country over a period of four years. Rajeev Menon, Area Vice-President for the Indian sub-continent, Maldives and Australia for Marriott International Inc, told Business Line that most of these hotels will be for the budget and business travellers. Marriott has two brands, Courtyard by Marriott and Fairfield Inn, which cater to these segments. Several of these properties will be launched in tier 2 cities. “The middle class continues to grow and will spend more. The suburban locations of some of our properties are already doing well. They have turned out to be the hospitality hub in their respective cities,” Menon said.
Marriott opened its first property in India in 1999 and has a total of 16 till date. It will open a Courtyard by Marriott in Bhopal and a Marriott in WhiteField, Bangalore in a week’s time. Two JW Marriott hotels will be launched at the Delhi airport as well as in the UB City in Bangalore soon. Marriott has already launched seven of its 21 brands in India so far while the Fairfield Inn brand will be launched by the end of this year. Couple of more brands are expected to be launched soon. Menon said every lodging segment for the hotel chain is witnessing good growth in the country. “We understand the country, its dynamics. Our brands are well-positioned across the country,” he said. He said compared with the previous year, the revenue per available room declined last year in the hospitality segment in the country. But Marriott grew by about 5 per cent. “We continue to beat the negative trend in India,” he said.
Marriott does not own any properties in India and works through management contracts with developers. “Whenever we sign with the developers to manage the hotels, we do it typically on a long-term management contract basis. These are 20-30 year period deals,” Menon said. On the expectations from the Union Budget for the hospitality sector, Menon said there was an urgent need to rationalise the taxes. He pointed out that tax rates differ dramatically from one State to another which was a huge cause for concern for the industry. “These hurdles can be a deterrent from expanding significantly here,” he said.
-Hindu Business Line