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The Ritz-Carlton Debuts in Vienna

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The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company L.L.C, a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott international Inc. (MAR - Free Report) , recently announced the opening of its first luxury resort, The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna. This new luxury resort has been opened in Vienna, the capital as well as the largest city of Austria. It marks the 80th hotel of the brand across the globe and its ninth in Europe.

The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna is composed of four historic palaces that date back to the 19th century. The hotel is located on Vienna's Schubertring Boulevard. The resort features 202 guestrooms, including 43 suites along with numerous other amenities. The hotelier plans to double its properties in Europe by 2015 and the new opening in Vienna is in line with this strategy.

Despite the prevailing uncertainty in Europe, we believe that opening the new resort is a strategic move as Vienna is a host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC. Each year since 2005, Vienna has been the world's leading destination for international congresses and conventions. n the first half of 2012, tourism in Vienna increased 8.4% than the previous year. Apart from Europe, the city attracts tourists mainly from USA, China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Marriott’s major competitors, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and Hyatt Hotel Corp. (H - Free Report) also have a considerable presence in Vienna. As of now, The Ritz-Carlton operates 80 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. Additionally, the brand has more than 30 hotels and residential projects in the pipeline for development around the globe.

Marriot expects to open approximately 20,000 to 25,000 rooms in 2012 and estimates to add 90,000 to 105,000 rooms between 2012 and 2014. The demand for hotels, particularly in the international market, is increasing and Marriott will likely benefit from its international exposure. Marriott’s largest market outside North America is China, where it plans to double the number of properties by 2015. It also expects to open 100 hotels in India by 2015. Marriot is also bullish about the long-term opportunities in the Middle East and Africa. By 2017, Marriott intends to double its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.

We presently have long term Neutral recommendation on Marriott, which holds a Zacks #3 Rank signifying a short term ‘Hold’ rating. We also have a Zacks #2 for The Marcus Corporation (MCS - Free Report) , a competitor of Marriott.

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