Congratulations to Marriott on this news!
Europe is fast becoming the growth spot for hotels. In an effort to increase its global presence, Marriott International announced plans to double its portfolio in Europe by 2015.
Marriott opened its first Europe hotel 35 years ago and today has over 170 hotels throughout Europe including Ritz-Carlton, Bvlgari, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartments. According to Marriott International, the development pipeline in Europe includes nearly 30 projects including the Renaissance Moscow Monarch Center Hotel (2010), the Courtyard by Marriott Budapest (2010) and the JW Marriott Hotel Ankara (2010). Marriott also plans to introduce two new brands to the Europe market including Edition, a boutique-lifestyle collaboration between Ian Schrager and Marriott; and the Autograph Collection, Marriott's newest brand of independent hotels and resorts.
From the press release:
"Our new operating structure, comprised of four continental divisions including Europe, will help facilitate global growth and bring our teams closer to markets and to our customers. We have tremendous opportunities to grow, with over a third of our current pipeline and about half of our full-service openings this year located in markets outside North America," said Arne Sorenson, president and chief operating officer of Marriott International.
Great post, Jerry! Thank you for posting it. Here's more on Marriott's expansion in Europe. What strikes me is the emphasis on rethinking the organizational structure,
"Bring our teams closer to markets and to our customers"
The question is, what does 'bring our teams closer to our customers' mean? How does Marriott achieve that? Intuitively, it suggests listening to your customers and translating the collective voice into actionable plans that respond to what guests are saying.
If launching Elite Rollover Nights, making Lifetime Platinum easier to attain, sliding properties into hotel categories/tiers to make them more affordable on redemption, complimentary internet for Gold and Platinum Elite in the US and expansion in Europe is a result of that thinking, it appears Marriott is going in the right direction.
The other thought is, where does Marriott Rewards Insiders fit in? In order for Marriott to deliver upon guest expectations in Europe, its imperative that guests in that market have a voice too. Here's hoping that the recent announcement heralds an even broader rollout of Insiders worldwide. Marriott, bring it on!
Update 3/22: See Bill Marriott's blog, Ambitious Expansion Plans for Marriott Hotels in Europe. Interestingly, there are nearly 20 comments responding to the announcement. Good read, too.