The hotel chain that has 8,000 properties under 30 leading brands in 139 countries and territories, participates in the event that takes place in Panama to further expand its network
In the prelude to SAHIC we were able to interview Mr. Walter Regidor, Vice President, Conversions, Marriott International, Caribbean and Latin America of Marriott. The executive has shared with us a detailed detail about the participation in the event. We share his responses below:
What is your expectation when participating once again in SAHIC?
Participating in SAHIC this year is a great opportunity to connect with other colleagues in the industry in person and share experiences and learning in these last two years that have marked unprecedented challenges for the whole world and our industry in particular. I also see it as a great opportunity to talk about the latest travel trends and what the prospects are for the hospitality industry in our region.
The pandemic caused property closures, what is your view on investments in hotel properties in general?
Marriott Int. maintains a firm vision regarding its growth projection in the Caribbean and Latin America. The strong positioning of our brands in the market continues to be of paramount importance to attract investment. This year in particular will see the debut of the EDITION brand in our region with the opening of The Riviera Maya Mexico EDITION later in the year, along with other major openings throughout the region. So our pipeline continues to grow and we are very optimistic about the recovery of the tourism industry this year.
Another consequence is the possibility of capturing conversions, what are the plans you have for those owners?
Conversions have long been a part of the company’s growth story. Marriott has a strong portfolio of conversion-friendly brands, which enable owners and franchisees to integrate into the Marriott system at a faster rate than opening a new hotel. As a point of reference, prior to the pandemic, there were almost 100 hotel conversions in 2019. So Marriott offers great conversion opportunities by having a broad portfolio of hotels to our guests, a dynamic sales and marketing platform and a global scale that drives efficiency is a huge benefit to our owners. In addition, our robust loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy®, with more than 160 million members,
What conditions does the company offer investors today to continue expanding its presence in the Americas?
Marriott has a history of 95 years of experience to currently position itself as the largest hotel company in the world with a portfolio of approximately 8,000 properties under 30 leading brands in 139 countries and territories.
Marriott Bonvoy®, our loyalty program, has more than 160 million members worldwide, where members can redeem their points for experiences, including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, or luxury products from Marriott boutiques Bonvoy.
Similarly, Marriott has a very strong distribution network. Marriott’s size and scale allow us to share costs and take advantage of market efficiencies through shared services and highly negotiated rates with intermediary partners.
There are countries that due to the pandemic have not yet recovered their demand, how does the Company work to counteract this effect and still take advantage of its competitors?
Local for Local initiatives remain a priority focus for Marriott International and will be critical at this point for our South American markets as international demand returns. Last year we conducted a survey in 10 key markets in the region with the aim of understanding consumer travel trends and preferences and found that these have changed due to the pandemic, and the hospitality sector has adapted to meet new demands. For example, we found that 70% of respondents say that traveling is among the 3 most important activities in their life and 81% would plan a vacation for this year. We also see that, in line with the above, interest in the region has been considerably high at the beginning of this year,
How many hotels do you own and how many do you plan to add this season and in 2022?
Globally, we currently have approximately 8,000 properties in 139 countries and territories. We have projects to execute worldwide for 2,728 hotels (approximately 465,000 rooms). In the Caribbean and Latin American region we have more than 300 properties (64,438 rooms) with a pipeline of 113 properties (18,619 rooms). For this year, we hope to open more than 20 hotels.
What do you consider the differential benefits that they provide to distance themselves from the competition and be more attractive to investors?
Without a doubt, Marriott Bonvoy®, our award-winning travel and marketplace program from Marriott International, offers its members access to transformative and impressive experiences around the corner and around the world, a program that encompasses a portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands. offering renowned hospitality in the world’s most memorable destinations.
Our presence in the region is also very strong, with a portfolio of 306 properties representing 21 brands in 37 countries, with 64,438 rooms. In line with the above, in the Caribbean and Latin American region we have 113 projects with 18,619 rooms in projects to be executed. For all of the above, Marriott International reaffirms its presence and vision in the region with an optimistic outlook regarding the reactivation of demand and recovery of the tourism industry this year.
Walter Regidor, Marriott