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Massive Changes at Marriott

Marriott International plans to add as many as 300,000 rooms in the next three years, as the world’s largest hotel company continues to expand its legacy select-service brands while accelerating growth at former Starwood Hotels & Resorts select-service brands, such as Aloft and Element.

To put that growth in perspective, 300,000 rooms is almost twice Hyatt Hotels’ entire global inventory and would amount to building one hotel every 14 hours.

With almost 1.2 million rooms worldwide already, Marriott has about 420,000 rooms in its development pipeline. Select-service brands Fairfield Inn and Courtyard have 370 hotels and 280 hotels in development, respectively, making those brands Marriott’s largest in terms of development.

Starwood’s former Aloft select-service brand, which has 126 properties worldwide, has another 135 hotels in its development pipeline, while the 23-unit Element, another former Starwood brand, has 73 properties under development. Tony Capuano, Marriott’s global chief development officer, said, “We’re not trying to grow Aloft from a dead stop. This is a great brand that’s already experiencing great growth. Aloft has a very bright future on a global basis.”

Marriott also announced at its annual meeting with security analysts and institutional investors in New York last week that the company had invested an undisclosed amount in the in-destination, metasearch service PlacePass in order to better serve the loyalty guests in the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs, which collectively have more than 100 million users.

The PlacePass investment represents a point of departure for Marriott. Founded last year, the Cambridge, Mass.-based company offers listings and price comparisons for more than 100,000 “authentic local” experiences in 800 destinations worldwide, including activities such as a picnic in the Grand Canyon, a tour of U.K. filming sites for the “Downton Abbey” TV series and the chance to cook pasta with a chef in Italy’s Tuscany region.

To read more at Travel Weekly, click here.

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