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Marriott's Ritz-Carlton Chengdu Debut Boosts China Portfolio


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Marriott International, Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report) recently announced the opening of The Ritz-Carlton in Chengdu, marking the luxury hospitality brand’s debut in Southwest China.

The 353-room luxury hotel is located in the business district of Chengdu and has rooms from the 28th through the 41st floor. Further, the hotel keeps the city’s famous tea culture identity alive through themed rooms and restaurants.

The hotel will also offer other facilities like a modern spa, a beauty salon and a fully-equipped fitness center built around an indoor swimming pool.

Chengdu has witnessed rapid economic development in recent years and attracted both business as well as leisure travelers. The scenic JiuZhai Valley and Panda Sanctuary are the other tourist attractions. The famous Sichuan cuisine, cultural heritage, artifacts and ethnic customs prompted Marriott to bring its luxury brand to the city.

Currently, China is one of the largest and most dynamic markets for international hoteliers. The demand for hotels in the international market is greater than in the U.S. and the pace of recovery is particularly fast in the underserved Asia-Pacific region. Marriott is seeking to tap in on this high demand.

Per the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), China promises immense growth potential, with visits expected to increase substantially in 2014 making it the world’s leading tourist destination by 2020. The affluent middle class population in China has caught the attention of other international hoteliers like Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report), Intercontinental Hotels Group plc (IHG - Snapshot Report) and Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Snapshot Report).

Marriott currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).