Marriott reports strong ’21 growth

Marriott International Inc. has revealed that 2021 was a strong year of rooms growth and signings. The company also provided insight into major trends it sees currently impacting global hospitality development. These trends helped drive Marriott’s growth in 2021 and are expected to propel the company’s growth over the next several years.

At the end of 2021, Marriott’s worldwide system consisted of nearly 8,000 properties and roughly 1.48 million rooms in 139 countries and territories. At year-end, the company had the largest global development pipeline, with roughly 485,000 rooms. It signed 599 agreements during 2021 representing approximately 92,000 rooms of which slightly more than half are located outside of U.S. and Canada. Rooms falling out of the pipeline remain at historically low levels, despite challenges brought on by the pandemic. During 2021, Marriott added more than 86,000 rooms on a gross basis, growing the system by 3.9%, including deletions of 2.1%. The deletion rate was 1.2% excluding the exit of 88 Service Properties Trust select-service hotels.

“Marriott has the benefit of sitting at the intersection of information and insights from a global community of developers, properties, owners and franchisees, as well as the more than 160 million members of our Marriott Bonvoy travel program,” said Stephanie Linnartz, president, Marriott International. “Our analysis of the prevalent trends in global development is particularly instructive as we continue to recover from this global pandemic. We have been focused on working closely with our valued community of owners and franchisees throughout these unprecedented times. We are pleased with our strong 2021 development results and look forward to continuing to drive value for our owners and franchisees throughout the recovery and beyond with our quality brands, our comprehensive business support systems and industry leading loyalty platform.”

Luxury maintains its momentum
Travelers crave leisure luxury travel experiences seeking iconic destinations and undiscovered locations, and Marriott is ready to meet this demand with its portfolio of seven luxury brands across 476 hotels spanning 69 countries and territories. In 2021, the company signed 40 luxury hotel deals, representing more than 6,000 rooms, and grew its portfolio of luxury hotel rooms by 4.8% net, with notable additions in prime locations around the globe including Philadelphia (W Hotels); Nashville (W Hotels); Charlotte (JW Marriott); Bermuda (St. Regis); Paris (Bulgari); Rome (W Hotels); Maldives (The Ritz-Carlton) (shown above); Budapest (The Luxury Collection); and Reykjavik (EDITION). The company continues to expand its luxury footprint and has by far the largest global pipeline of hotels in this high-fee earning segment, with nearly 50,000 rooms. Marriott anticipates debuting more than 30 luxury hotels in 2022 in destinations from Mexico (The St. Regis Kanai Resort) and Portugal (W Algarve) to Australia (The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne) and South Korea (JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa).

The leisure boom continues booming
Leisure demand has led the travel recovery, a trend that is expected to continue into 2022, as travelers continue to embrace multi-purpose trips, mixing remote work and vacation time. Leisure transient global room nights were the first to recover to 2019 pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter of 2021. For some time prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, leisure travel had been growing at a faster pace than business travel, and according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), all signs point to a continuation of the trend. Marriott’s resort network includes more than 600 properties in beach, mountain and desert locations around the world that have seen high demand and have demonstrated impressive ADRs.

All-inclusive is all-growth
Consumer interest in the very high growth all-inclusive resort segment continues to increase. Marriott intends to capitalize on its strong recent momentum in this area. Currently, the company’s all-inclusive portfolio spans 28 properties, representing more than 8,000 rooms in locations across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. In 2021, it signed 22 agreements for all-inclusive resorts, marking a company record, including 20 all-inclusive resorts under its Autograph Collection Hotels brand and the first Marriott branded all-inclusive resort agreement in North Africa.

“Marriott’s all-inclusive platform is energizing the segment and providing Marriott Bonvoy members, owners and franchisees access to our strong brands,” said Carlton Ervin, global development officer, International, Marriott International. “While our initial all-inclusive growth has been focused in the Caribbean and Latin America, we see tremendous opportunity to expand our all-inclusive platform into additional markets, including the Mediterranean and the Middle East.”

Extended-stay’s popularity extends further
The extended-stay segment has always been attractive to leisure travelers and has become even more popular with the increase in remote work and the blending of business and leisure travel. In 2021, the extended-stay segment accounted for 37% of the company’s rooms signings in the U.S. and Canada. Marriott Bonvoy’s extended-stay brands—Element Hotels, Residence Inn by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott—include more than 1,400 hotels, offering stays from a few nights to a few weeks. Notable expected openings in 2022 include Element City Center Doha in Qatar, Residence Inn by Marriott The Hague City Center in the Netherlands and TownePlace Suites Cape Canaveral Cocoa Beach in Florida.

At the American Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles next week, Marriott will be showcasing Element Hotels, Residence Inn by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott through its “Longer Stay Lounge,” a space where investors, owners and operators can experience the latest in brand programming and designs while networking. The Longer Stay Lounge will present immersive brand vignettes that will allow visitors to learn about and experience each of the company’s longer stay brands.

“The extended-stay segment has been extremely resilient over the past few years and guest and owner demand continues to grow, driven in some measure by the rise in multi-purpose travel,” said Noah Silverman, global development officer, U.S. & Canada, Marriott International. “We are excited for continued momentum around extended-stay and to use our presence at ALIS to communicate the strength and possibilities of Marriott’s longer-stay category and the impressive value it brings to owners.”

Conversions transform across the portfolio
Conversions are an important driver of rooms growth in any year, but they have been particularly meaningful during more disruptive times. Marriott provides a rich and flexible conversion platform with significant revenue synergies, cost saving opportunities and turnkey access to many of the programs and services that it provides, including the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, according to the company. Marriott added more than 18,000 conversion rooms in 2021, accounting for 21% of overall openings. In addition, conversions accounted for 27% of rooms signings in 2021. Interest in conversions into Marriott brands remains high, led by the company’s portfolio of collection brands, including Autograph Collection Hotels, The Luxury Collection and, in particular, the Tribute Portfolio, which has grown its footprint of open and pipeline hotels by nearly four times in the past five years. In addition, Delta Hotels by Marriott, the company’s flexible full-service conversion brand, represented 9% of signed conversion deals in 2021. Notable expected conversion additions in 2022 include the JW Marriott Hotel São Paulo in Brazil; The Brix, Autograph Collection in Trinidad & Tobago; The Serangoon House, Singapore, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel; and a Delta Hotels by Marriott City Center Doha in Qatar.

Growth in valuable international markets
In 2021, the company signed 256 agreements representing nearly 51,000 rooms in international locations outside the U.S. and Canada. In 2021, the company expanded into Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Grenada, St. Lucia and Turks & Caicos. In 2022, it expects to plant its flag in Albania and Honduras.

Select-service shines around the world
Development activity for well-established brands within the select-service space remains another key driver of growth, especially internationally. Comprised of brands including Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft Hotels and Moxy Hotels, the company’s select brands are increasingly resonating internationally. In 2021, it opened 107 select-service hotels representing nearly 19,000 rooms in 29 countries across its international regions. In China, notable expected openings in 2022 include Element Yangjiang Hailing Island and Moxy Suzhou City Center. In 2021, Fairfield by Marriott continued to make its mark in Japan with the “Michi-no-eki” project, bringing six more hotels to key locations across four prefectures in Japan. The company also launched its new Fairfield prototype in Europe and the Middle East.