Marriott reflects on signing acceleration

Marriott International has revealed its signings accelerated again in 2022, inking an average of two deals a day.

Last year saw a total of 726 management and franchise agreements, an increase of 21% over 2021 signings, representing nearly 108,000 rooms.

Half a million-key pipeline

Marriott’s global development pipeline totalled over 3,000 properties representing more than 496,000 hotel rooms at the end of last year, excluding the circa additional 17,000 rooms resulting from  Marriott’s acquisition of Mexican brand City Express in October 2022.

During the year, the company added 394 properties, representing more than 65,000 rooms on a gross basis, growing the system by 4.4%. Including deletions of 1.3%, net rooms increased 3.1%. Excluding the impact of the company’s exit from Russia, the deletion rate was 0.8% and net rooms increased by 3.6%.

At the end of 2022, Marriott’s worldwide system consisted of nearly 8,300 properties and roughly 1.5 million rooms in 138 countries and territories.

Conversion momentum

Conversions helped drive signing activity, contributing 20,500 rooms, or approximately 20% of rooms signed during the year. Half of the 2022 rooms signed were outside the company’s home USA market, including key growth countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Marriott continues to see strong momentum from conversions, including multi-unit conversion opportunities. In June, thegroup announced a strategic agreement with Vinpearl to convert and develop 2,200 rooms across eight hotels in Vietnam. Of the eight hotels, six are conversions that have already been added to Marriott’s system.

Worldwide additions

Thanks to a robust portfolio of conversion-friendly brands, the company added more than 80 conversion properties in 2022 in locations around the world including Brazil and India.

In the US and Canada region, the company signed 56 conversion deals, representing nearly 8,000 rooms, including a record 34 select-service deals representing nearly 4,000 rooms. The company’s collection brands, including Autograph Collection Hotels, The Luxury Collection, and Tribute Portfolio, represented 30% of global conversion rooms signed, with over 6,000 rooms inked in 2022.

Luxury and all-inclusive leader

With a portfolio of nearly 500 luxury hotels and resorts in 69 countries and territories, Marriott is poised to extend its reach in the sector with a record 42 luxury hotel agreements signed last year, representing nearly 8,000 rooms.

As a top player in the high growth all‐inclusive space, Marriott continues to focus on expanding its all-inclusive platform to meet rising guest demand. In 2022, the company added three all-inclusive conversion properties, in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Brazil.

In addition, the company recently announced the signing of three luxury all-inclusive properties in Mexico: Almare, a Luxury Collection All-Inclusive Resort on Isla Mujeres, and a JW Marriott All-Inclusive and W All-Inclusive in Costa Mujeres. The company anticipates that Southeast Asia and resort markets in Europe and the Middle East could provide additional all-inclusive opportunities in the future.

Select service stays strong

Select service development opportunities continue to be a key growth driver for Marriott, representing three-quarters of global deal signings and nearly half of signings across international regions.

Marriott’s select service portfolio provides an array of brands including Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott and Moxy Hotels. In 2022, the company signed 523 select service deals. In addition, the company added 216 select service hotels around the world, including in Greece, Australia and Japan.

Record extended

With growing consumer travel preferences for more space driven by the blending of work and leisure trips, the longer stay segment is a highly attractive option for both guests and hotel developers.

In 2022, the extended stay category, comprising the Residence Inn by Marriott, Element by Westin, and TownePlace Suites by Marriott brands, accounted for a record 30% of the company’s signings.

Tackling barriers to entry

In the US and Canada, last year the company launched Marriott’s Bridging The Gap, a multi-year development programme that aims to address the barriers to entry that historically underrepresented hotel owners and developers face.

As part of the programme, Marriott has allocated US$50 million to offer financial and other incentives to qualified historically underrepresented owners and franchisees that will have a controlling equity interest in select branded projects. To date, Marriott’s Bridging the Gap has resulted in nine signed deals in locations including Jackson, Mississippi and St. Louis, Missouri.

Apartment launch

To meet the growing demand and changing consumer travel preferences for more room and longer stays, Marriott announced its further expansion into the serviced-apartments segment in November 2022.

Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy is a residential soft brand with an independent, local design aesthetic. Intended to be introduced in the upper-upscale and luxury segments, Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy will feature a separate living room and bedroom, full kitchen, and in-unit laundry, but will be differentiated from hotel products by not typically offering certain traditional hotel services such as food and beverage and meeting spaces.

Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy is anticipated to offer developers the flexibility to build new properties or convert existing properties, with a design approach similar to the company’s Autograph Collection Hotels and Tribute Portfolio brands.

Proven resilience

Anthony Capuano, CEO, Marriott International, analysed: “We were pleased with the accelerating pace of development activity in 2022 as the global recovery continued. The proven resilience of travel is powerful and energising. Given the attractiveness of our portfolio of global brands, top-ranked Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programme, momentum around conversions, and commitment to innovation, we are excited to continue to help lead in the growth of travel.”

The firm’s global development officer, international, Carlton Ervin, added: “We have seen a tremendous year of growth in our international regions. In the Middle East, we saw a record number of room signings. With rising momentum in our all-inclusive offerings and our planned expansion into the midscale market, we remain focused on providing consumers with more offerings to meet their needs.”