Marriott hails CALA conversion surge

Image © Marriott International
Marriott International is reporting that hotel conversions have become an important growth driver for the group in the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) region.

The firm had a first quarter of healthy conversion activity, accounting for 29% of rooms signed and 25% of rooms opened by the company globally.

Organic growth

Marriott detailed that hoteliers and investors are leveraging the efficiencies and advantages of renovating and rebranding existing properties, further expanding the breadth of the company’s portfolio, consisting of 31 global brands.

The firm has been boosting its organic growth with increased conversion activity. The company added nearly 17,500 conversion rooms in 2022 and signed 20,500 rooms, approximately 20% of rooms signed globally last year, and has continued to see strong momentum in the space thanks to its conversion-friendly brands across different segments, including The Luxury Collection, Autograph Collection Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Delta Hotels, and Four Points by Sheraton.

CALA conversion predominance

In the Caribbean and Latin America, more than 50% of Marriott’s room signings were conversions in 2022. As of the first quarter of the year, the region had more than 3,000 conversion rooms in the pipeline – building on the success of the company’s strategy.

Conversions are seen as a win-win for the owner and the brand, aligning the brand’s expansion plans with the owner’s cost, timing and risk concerns. Owners and franchisees appreciate the flexibility of the many conversion brand options and the power of affiliating with Marriott’s global hospitality platform.

Property positioning power

Walter Regidor, vice president, development for Marriott International in CALA, said: “Hotel owners, investors and developers are drawn to Marriott International’s brand conversion opportunities for an array of reasons. For independent hoteliers, adding an existing property to our portfolio provides access to our well-established loyalty, distribution, and marketing platforms, access to our global sales organisation, and direct bookings at our low customer acquisition cost.

“Owners also have the opportunity to see potential cost savings connecting to the Marriott ecosystem, including our digital and innovation programs, which can aid in improving the visibility of a property and positioning the property for potentially higher occupancy.”

Upcoming projects

Forthcoming conversions for Marriott in the CALA region include Sheraton Bariloche Hotel in western Argentina. This 161-key property is currently branded as Hotel Panamericano Bariloche but will complete its conversion in Q4 this year. In the same quarter, Hotel Rumbao, a Tribute Portfolio by Marriott in San Juan, Puerto Rico will be the result of a renovation and rebranding of the 244-room Sheraton Old San Juan.

Further ahead, Habitation Jouissant in Cap-Haitien, Haiti will join the Autograph Collection, and undergo a comprehensive overhaul that will include additions to its 100-key count. The hotel will see new presidential suites, two restaurants, two pools, a fitness centre and meeting rooms when it reopens in 2026.