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Marriott signs 5 new hotels in east India

Marriott International, Inc., has signed an agreement to bring five new hotels to Jharkhand and West Bengal. The company said these hotels will open over the next two to four years with local partner BeeKay Group and the agreement is expected to add about 700 rooms to the American hospitality major’s existing portfolio of about 26,000 rooms in the country.

The company has the largest hotel inventory in the country with about 26,000 rooms and has over 130 hotels, the company’s Asia Pacific president (excluding Greater China), Rajeev Menon told Mint. These will be in Ranchi, Asansol, Maithon and Deoghar across The Le Méridien, Courtyard by Marriott and Fairfield by Marriott brands. Menon said the company has signed 27 hotels in the past 18 months in locations like Nashik, Amritsar, Mohali, Udaipur, Pahalgam etc. With this, the hotel company will have signed 12 hotels in India.

Earlier this year, it also announced that it will bring its ‘Moxy’ brand to India, it will be its 17th brand in India. In total, it has 30 brands in the world.

Late last year, it signed an agreement with the Prestige Group and DB Realty to launch the Marriott Marquis in New Delhi and St. Regis at Aerocity, which will be operational by 2025. The 779-room inventory across the two brands, will include the 600-room Marriott Marquis property.

Menon said Asia Pacific was the hardest hit in terms of hospitality because of various lockdowns and heavily restricted international travel, there are now very strong growth numbers and good recovery as compared to 2019 across India and that’s predominantly driven by domestic travel. This has been so since about February and March this year.

“Even though the last couple of years, operationally, hotel businesses took a big hit, the investments in hospitality was still pretty strong and private equity money as well as institutional and family money has been still coming in, in a strong way into the segment,” Menon said.

The company has a pipeline of another 67 hotels under various stages of construction and is present in 36 cities in the country.

Menon added: “Most airlines and hotels will say today that there is no demand problem. It is outstripping supply in most cases. Even though the rates are up, demand is strong; airline prices are up and there is still a considerable amount of travel. That trend will easily remain the rest of the year if not the first half of next year. So as long as there is good flight connectivity, and there is good infrastructure, I see no reason to not continue to develop hotels here.”

He added that even in the international travel space, all countries are vying for the Indian traveller because the Chinese traveller has been absent from the global travel market.

In a report from 2021, hospitality consultancy firm Hotelivate had pegged Marriott as the largest hotel operator in the country followed by Indian Hotels Co. Ltd (IHCL) (Taj Hotels Resorts, Palaces, Safaris, and Ginger). While Taj has more properties than Marriott International, it ranked second as its room count.

The travel market in India is projected to reach $125 billion by FY27 from an estimated $75 billion in FY20 said a recent report by industry chamber FICCI.

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