Marriott International, the world’s biggest hotel operator, is betting its future in Asia on the growth of leisure tourism, particularly from China.
The company plans to more than double its number of hotels across the region by 2020 to prepare for a "huge tsunami of Chinese travelers", said Craig Smith, Marriott’s Asia-Pacific president and managing director.
The expansion will take the number of Marriott’s hotels in Asia-Pacific, which excludes China, to 50, including new Ritz-Carlton hotels in Melbourne and Perth, Smith said.
The rise of China’s middle class has also coincided with changing western norms as baby boomers retire and travel more, and younger generations take more holidays.
Almost 100 million more Chinese residents will travel overseas each year by 2025, according to a Goldman Sachs report published last November. Chinese travelers could be spending more than their counterparts from Germany, UK and France combined by 2025, according to a research published in June by Oxford Economics and Visa Inc.
Leisure travel is growing not just in Asia, but around the world, at a much faster rate than business travel,” Smith said.
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