Q4 2021 Covid development update: Marriott International [Infographic]

by | 25 Oct 2021 | Portfolio

The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos

In the first instalment of an exclusive new series, we reveal how development has fallen since the start of the pandemic at the hotel giant behind brands like St Regis and W Hotels.

Covid19 has had a huge impact on global hospitality, and the top six hotel groups – Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Accor, IHG, Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Radisson Hotel Group – certainly haven’t been immune to the crisis. Today, let’s take a closer look at the situation facing industry heavyweight Marriott.

The Maryland-headquartered group now boasts approximately 7,800 properties across 138 countries and territories around the world, with no fewer than 30 brands spanning the likes of JW Marriott, St Regis, The Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels and Edition in the luxury category, and Marriott, Sheraton, Westin, Renaissance and Le Méridien in the premium segment. However, this unparalleled reach left the NASDAQ-listed company uniquely exposed when Covid19 ran amok in the early months of 2020, prompting many markets to temporarily introduce curfews, travel bans and lockdowns.

Marriott’s pipeline shrinks by 12%

Here, we draw on TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction data compiled by our research team to find out how Marriott’s development slate has fared during the last 18 months:

Quarter Date Hotel projects in progress
Q2 2020 04/30/2020 986
Q3 2020 07/02/2020 964
Q4 2020 10/02/2020 967
Q1 2021 01/06/2021 959
Q2 2021 04/13/2021 952
Q3 2021 07/02/2021 892
Q4 2021 10/04/2021 868

What we can see from the above is that Marriott had just under 1,000 hotel projects (986) in progress as of 30 April 2020 – when the coronavirus outbreak was playing havoc in key markets across North America and Europe. After an initial dip, this number then remained fairly constant throughout late 2020 and into early 2021. However, the figures have since dropped rather sharply, hitting a new low of just 868 as of 4 October 2021.

Somewhat alarmingly then, the number of active schemes on the company’s books has fallen by 12% since the onset of the pandemic – the biggest drop we’ve witnessed across the top six hotel groups. Now obviously we need to be careful not to blame such a steep decline solely on the emergence of Covid19. But in normal times, we’d expect a well-resourced industry giant like Marriott to be growing rather than shrinking its pipeline, exploiting its profile and contacts to rapidly expand its international footprint and ultimately deliver greater returns for investors.

Keeping an eye on Marriott’s pipeline

It’s probably worth stressing at this point that Marriott’s still taken plenty of hotel schemes through to completion since the start of the pandemic. This can be seen in the fact that the group has opened a host of eye-catching projects in recent months, including W Philadelphia, inspired by the likes of Grace Kelly and Marie Antoinette; The Ritz-Carlton, Turks & Caicos, with a clever design that pays tribute to the island and its people; and Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Budapest, which successfully launched following a five-year transformation programme.

Moreover, the company is continuing to add new projects to its pipeline. The TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database, for example, is currently tracking a host of high-profile projects added over the course of 2021, not least W Florence, which occupies a prominent location near the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo; and JW Marriott Madrid, set within a beautiful historic building in the Spanish capital. But these new additions, welcome as they are, shouldn’t distract us from the bigger picture, which indicates that Marriott’s development slate is contracting.

Caution is the watchword at Marriott

Ultimately, our data suggests that Marriott is exhibiting a fair degree of caution when it comes to embarking upon new hotel developments. While activity isn’t grinding to a halt by any means, the company seems to be moving away from the breakneck expansion that characterised previous decades.

It’ll be fascinating to see if this trend persists as the rollout of highly effective vaccines and better treatments for Covid19 encourages more and more countries to welcome back travellers in the coming months.

Click here to read our exclusive Q4 2021 Covid development update series in full: Marriott International | Hilton Worldwide | Accor | IHG | Hyatt Hotels Corporation | Radisson Hotel Group | Marriott and Hilton slumps hit pipeline

Many TOPHOTELNEWS articles draw on exclusive information from the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database. This subscription-based product includes details of thousands of hotel projects around the world, along with the key decision-makers behind them. Please note, our data may differ from records held by other organisations. Generally, the database focuses on four- and five-star schemes of significant scale; tracks projects in either the vision, pre-planning, planning, under-construction, pre-opening or newly opened phase; and covers newbuilds, extensions, refurbishments and conversions.

Learn more



Marriott International is based in Bethesda, Maryland and encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,000 properties around the world.