Marriott International, Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report) remains steadfast on its goal to expand its international presence. The company’s wholly owned subsidiary — The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. — has signed an agreement with Fast Consortium, a leading Asian residential apartment developer, to develop a project which includes a Ritz-Carlton branded hotel and residential apartments in Elizabeth Quay, Perth.
The development project will include a 204-room hotel — The Ritz-Carlton Perth — along with one, two and three-bedroom residential apartments in two towers flanking the hotel. The project will also include a ground floor retail area and waterfront dining spaces.
The property, which marks the brand’s debut in Perth, is located in front of the scenic waterfront region of the city, and is in close proximity to the Swan River, Kings Park and the Botanical Garden.
Additionally, the hotel is strategically situated in the commercial and business district of Perth, at a stone’s throw from the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre of Elizabeth Quay. In our view, the upscale location and close proximity to the major attractions will act as major crowd pullers for the hotel.
Australia: A land of Opportunities
The global hotel chain sees huge development opportunities in Australia — one of the world’s wealthiest countries. With a limited supply environment, the country is set to witness a surge in demand for luxury accommodation driven by a considerable increase in the number of domestic as well as international travelers.
Australia’s consistent GDP growth over the last few years qualifies Marriott’s decision to expand in the country. In fact, Perth — one of the largest cities of Australia — remains among the country’s most buoyant economy and accounts for almost 50% of all exports. Additionally, it serves as a major trade and transportation hub. As a result, the city attracts both business and leisure travelers which Marriott is seeking to capitalize on.
Apart from Marriott International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is also seeking to tap the rising demand for hotels in Australia. In fact, earlier this month, Starwood unveiled its mid-scale and contemporary lifestyle brand, Four Points by Sheraton, in Brisbane.
Stocks to Consider
Marriott currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). A better-rank stock in the hotel industry is The Marcus Corporation (MCS - Snapshot Report) , which sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). In the broader leisure services sector, investors may consider Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN - Analyst Report) , which has the same Zacks Rank as Marriott.