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Marriott expects faster growth with mid segment brands

Marriott International, which has emerged as the largest hotel company post its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, expects faster growth from mid-market and four star brands including Aloft, Fairfield, Courtyard and Four Points by Sheraton compared to its luxury portfolio in the country.

As it expands its reach from 19 to 33 cities, the majority of this is expected to happen in the secondary and tertiary markets where there is greater potential for such mid-scale brands. Rajeev Menon, Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific (excluding greater China), Marriott International, said, “It is the mid-market segment which is growing faster and this is going to be strongest area of growth as we enter more smaller cities compared to the big box formats.” Eyeing the budget space Despite taking over as the largest player in terms of number of rooms (18,000 rooms in India), Marriott International and Starwood do not have a presence in the budget or moderately priced segment where its nearest competitor Taj (14,000 rooms) has the Ginger brand of hotels. There is a possibility of Marriott bringing in more of its mid scale lifestyle brands like Moxy into the country.

 “Moxy is a moderately priced lifestyle brands and there is an absolute possibility of taking it to India since we have already launched the first Moxy in Indonesia in the Asia Pacific region,” he said. In fact, when it was getting its mid market Fairfield brand into the country it did extensive research and also forged a JV with Samhi Hotels( a privately owned hotel asset company) for distributing Fairfield. Now, as it has a pipeline of almost 100 new hotels, almost half of these additions would be in the mid-scale segment. While it already has two Fairfield properties in India through its JV with Samhi Hotels in Bangalore, 14 new hotels are being planned in smaller cities like Lucknow, Indore, Belgaum and Amritsar. Medium pricing Considering the majority of its business is expected to come from domestic travellers, having more mid to moderately priced hospitality brands is going to be the way forward. “Indian demographics, the middle class and low cost carriers is having a tremendous impact on domestic travel and today we have changed our business to becoming domestic heavy,” he said.