Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Marriott imports a new hotel brand

Marriott International is to announce their introduction to the U.S. a European-based hotel chain that is aimed at young travelers.
Marriott plans on importing the AC Hotels by Marriott, a Madrid-based, midprice brand it partnered with in 2011 to broaden its European presence. The Bethesda, Md.-based hospitality giant is betting on the urban lifestyle hotel chain to capture the lucrative Millennial market and its rapidly growing purchasing power.
"It's the right time to bring it to the U.S.," says Brian King, global brand officer for Marriott Endorsed Brands. "You import wine and you import cars. We're going to import a hotel brand."
It's a first for Marriott. And it's the second aggressive move the company has made on the Generation X and Y traveler this year. Recently, Marriott announced it is partnering with the Swedish IKEA furniture company to launch Moxy, a budget chain for Europe. It will run the AC Hotels by Marriott as a joint venture in the U.S. There are already 79 AC Hotels by Marriott in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy.
The company will describe its plans for AC Hotels by Marriott at the 35th Annual New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference today.
Chekitan Dev, an associate professor at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration and author of Hospitality Branding, said other hotel companies have started brands to appeal to the young traveler, most notably Starwood's Aloft and IHG's Hotel Indigo. Commune Hotels & Resorts, parent company of Joie de Vivre Hotels and Thompson Hotels, last week announced it is launching Tommie, a brand for the price-conscious youthful traveler.
"There are multiple brands that are capitalizing on the Millennial demand growth with smart design and advanced technology," Dev says. "This space is expected to grow."
Marriott hopes to open 200 AC Hotels by Marriott in the next 10 years. The company is scouting out locations for the first property but could open one as soon as next year.


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