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Marriott to Bring AC Hotels to U.S.

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Bethesda, MD-based leading hospitality company Marriott International Inc. (MAR - Free Report) is on the verge of debuting its full-service lodging brand, AC Hotels by Marriott, in the U.S. and other parts of the Americas (including South America and rest of North America). However, the company did not provide any information about the actual time of the launch.

Following a partnership with Spanish company AC Hotels, Marriott introduced AC Hotels by Marriott in Europe in 2011. The brand belongs to the upper-moderate tier and it comprises small-to-mid sized European-style contemporary lifestyle properties, especially designed for the modern urban travelers.

Currently, AC Hotels by Marriott owns 79 hotels across Europe including Spain, Italy, Portugal and France. Since its opening, the brand has been gaining strong momentum.

Marriott is launching the brand especially to attract young business travelers, whose population is burgeoning in the Americas with a market size of $31 billion - $35 billion. By expanding its business in that market, the company expects to boost its revenues, going forward. Marriott is also trying to tap the increasing demand in the U.S., where supply is limited.

Five hotels are currently in the brand’s development pipeline and Marriott is also looking for new development or franchise opportunities in the North and South America. 

Marriott is consistently making an effort to enhance its business by introducing new brands and expanding into the new markets. Recently, the company decided to launch its three-star economy brand, MOXY HOTEL in Europe for the contemporary budget travelers. Marriott intends to open 150 MOXY HOTELS in the region over the next 10 years with the first slated to debut in Milan in early 2014.

Various other hoteliers such as Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. and Choice Hotels International Inc. (CHH - Free Report) are making their presence felt in the market with their budget hotels brand, Home Inn and Quality Inn, respectively.

Marriott currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another player in the same industry, which looks attractive at current levels, is Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. (VAC - Free Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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