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Marriott (MAR) to Boost Asia Pacific Line-up With 100 Hotels

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Marriott International, Inc. (MAR - Free Report) recently announced intention to boost its portfolio in the Asia-Pacific region by nearly 100 hotels in 2021. In the previous year, the company added 75 properties in the region.

Notably, the company continues to focus on global industry hygiene standards along with innovative offerings such as work anywhere packages as well as hyper-localised marketing and sales strategies to tide over the ongoing crisis.

In this regard, Craig S. Smith, group president, International, Marriott International, stated, "We are grateful for the continued resilience and positivity demonstrated by our associates and for the confidence our guests, owners and franchisees continue to have in us. We remain well-positioned to meet the travel demands of our guests across Asia Pacific and the rest of the world."

China Mainland – A Hot Spot For Hoteliers

Within Asia-Pacific, China promises immense growth potential, despite the economic slowdown. With the virus contained to a significant extent, domestic travel restrictions are being lifted, leading to an improvement in daily number of passenger flights. Additionally, businesses are picking up. During third-quarter 2020, Marriott’s leisure bookings in Mainland China increased by more than 25% year over year. Per a joint report by consultancy Bain & Co. and Alibaba's Tmall Luxury unit, Mainland China is likely to become the world's largest personal luxury market by 2025.

The company is likely to expand its luxury portfolio with expected openings such as W Changsha, W Xiamen, St. Regis Qingdao and The Ritz-Carlton Reserve Jiuzhaigou. Also, it expects to open JW Marriott Shanghai Fengxian in spring 2021, thereby marking its 50th hotel in Shanghai and 400th hotel in Greater China. Moreover, properties in popular leisure destinations such as Mianyang and Nanjing are in the cards.

Other Expansion Plans

Marriott is consistently trying to expand presence worldwide and capitalize on demand for hotels in international markets. Moving ahead, the company plans to significantly expand global portfolio of luxury and lifestyle brands.

Notable prospects include W Osaka (in Japan), The Tasman in Hobart (Australia) and Ritz-Carlton (Maldives), JW Marriott Jeju (South Korea) and Westin (Goa). Moreover, the company stated that it expects to open six additional Fairfield (by Marriott hotels) throughout 2021 and 30 Fairfield hotels by 2023 end. Also, it expects to open W Melbourne and Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands in Australia by early 2021.

Price Performance

Coming to price performance, shares of Marriott have surged 43.3% in the past six months compared with the industry’s rally of 38.5%. Notably the company is benefitting from focus on expansion initiatives, digital innovation and loyalty program. Also, the company bolstered its liquidity to manage the coronavirus pandemic for some time.

However, coronavirus-related woes persist. Although the company is witnessing steady recovery in the United States and China markets, RevPAR and occupancy rates are well below the pre-pandemic era.

Marriott — which shares space with Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT - Free Report) , Extended Stay America, Inc. (STAY - Free Report) and Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Free Report) in the Zacks Hotels and Motels industry — carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) at present.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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