USA-based Marriott International put its flag on its 100th property in India. By opening the doors of its newest hotel – Sheraton Grand – in the southern city of Bengaluru on Tuesday, Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International, stated that India is the third country, after the USA and China, to have achieved this milestone.
With global annual revenues of $17 billion, the Maryland, USA-based Marriott is now the largest foreign hotel company, along with its franchises, in India, in terms of rooms. However, the century-old indigenous rival – Taj Hotels, operated by the Mumbai-based Indian Hotels Company Ltd. – has more properties at 127 properties, but has a lower inventory of rooms at 17,000 compared to Marriott’s tally of 23,000.
Marriott’s fast-paced and accelerated growth which saw it capitulating it to the number one slot in India, was largely aided by its ambitious worldwide acquisition of its competitor, the global chain of Starwood. The first non-Marriott family member to run the hospitality major, Sorenson said that the chain has finalized and confirmed plans to add another 50 properties in India, with 15 more of those coming on board this year itself.
With average annual occupancy percentage through its Indian properties pegged at 70%, with domestic bookings itself accounting for 60% of them, Sorenson revealed that the growth in India’s robust economy could be a more shining success story, if simplified bureaucratic norms and lower taxation were to be introduced.