Marriott?s big plans for Brazil
Marriott International plans to almost triple the number of its hotels in Brazil, in a bet that the nation?s worst recession in a quarter century will be short-lived.
The company will spend 400 million reais (US$104 million) in Brazil by 2018, part of which will go to add three more hotel brands focused on domestic travellers, revealed Tim Sheldon, Marriott?s president for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Under the plan, Marriott will build another 11 hotels, adding to its six existing Brazil properties. Domestic investors plan to team up with Marriott for the investment, pouring about an additional 300 million reais into the project.
The tack is similar to the one Marriott has pursued in other key emerging market countries, such as Mexico, in recent years, Sheldon noted.
AC by Marriott, Fairfield and Residence Inn will be among the brands represented in the new openings.
?We did extensive research in Brazil to understand what the market opportunities were and that?s why you see us building three-star and four-star hotels,? he said, adding that a current downturn did not change the company?s mind.
Brazil?s economy, the largest in Latin America, shrank over the past couple of quarters and is slated to contract this year and next, the country?s first back-to-back annual retractions since the 1930s, Reuters reported.
According to Sheldon, Marriott plans to focus on a group of 16 Brazilian cities with more than one million inhabitants each, all having recently gained international airports with direct flights to Europe and the US.
The company is building four hotels in Rio de Janeiro, which Sheldon expects to be ready ahead of the Olympics next year. Another five hotels will be built in southern Brazil ? two in Florianopolis, two in Curitiba and one in Porto Alegre.
The remaining two new hotels will go up in the northeastern city of Recife.