Leading hotel operator Marriott International has announced moves to strengthen its presence in Russia – a nation whose profile as a travel destination is sure to grow over the next few years.
No doubt with one eye on a future which will see Russia in the limelight not once, but twice, with the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 World Cup Finals both set to be staged in the country, Marriott International is planning to double its Russian and CIS portfolio from its present 19 hotels to more than 30 properties by 2015.
The new premises will see Marriott International’s portfolio from 40,000 rooms to more than 80,000, said Marriott International Europe managing director Amy McPherson:
“Over the past 15 years we have developed a strong presence in Russia and CIS and are excited about the continued growth opportunities throughout the region for our expanding portfolio of brands.”
McPherson added, “Russia also represents a tremendous opportunity for the travel sector. One of the world’s fastest growing outbound travel markets, the country is now Marriott’s fourth largest source market for travel in Europe fueled by a rising middle class with growing discretionary income. And with the robust growth here, we expect to see strong demand for travel in to Russia as well for both business and leisure travelers alike.”
Marriott International, who operates six brands across Russia and the CIS including JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments and Renaissance Hotels, pledged to open another 11 hotels in the region by 2015.
Carlton Ervin, chief development officer of Marriott International Europe, explains the plans in more detail:
“We are very focused on our development here and have augmented our development resources to enable us to meet our ambitious growth objectives for Russia and CIS. We see particular opportunity in the capital cities for our luxury and lifestyle brands including The Ritz-Carlton, EDITION and Autograph Collection, as well as great potential in the mid-tier segment for our Courtyard by Marriott brand in regional cities across Russia.”