Marriott International Inc (NASDAQ:MAR)’s growth in China has experienced little ill effect from the austerity and anti-graft measures put in place by the leading People’s Republic of China (PRC) last year according to Simon Cooper, President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Marriott International Inc (NASDAQ:MAR). Speaking to CNBC yesterday, he said their growth across China has in fact been fantastic.
“The austerity is hitting government employees, and the Chinese consumer seems to be consuming just as usual. Yes, you’re certainly seeing a little bit of a hit in Beijing, especially on some of the catering and the private dining rooms, but broadly across China the growth is fantastic, with Shanghai frankly leading the way,” Cooper said.
Marriott International Inc (NASDAQ:MAR) likewise has not felt any need to scale down the tone of its style or operations in China, Cooper said. While he noted the growth of their Courtyard brand of hotels in China, he reiterated that austerity has largely been limited to government activities, and that both international visitors to China and Chinese travelers themselves are still looking for luxury stops on their journeys.
Cooper did add that one small adjustment they’ve made with their Chinese hotels is to enlarge their private dining areas so that if those facilities do ever go out of style or become culturally taboo, they can more easily be converted into meeting spaces.
Marriott International Inc (NASDAQ:MAR) currently has 75 hotels already open or in the development stage in China, across six brands: JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance Hotels, Courtyard, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, and Marriott Executive Apartments. Next year, they will open their first golf resort in the country under their wholly owned subsidiary The Ritz-Carleton Hotel Company. The Ritz-Carlton, Mission Hills, in Haikou, China, will feature ten golf courses and will stand as the largest golf complex in the world when it opens in late 2015.
Marriott International Inc (NASDAQ:MAR)’s stock is up 43.42% year-to-date, and nearly 75% over the past 12 months, to stand at $70.78 entering today’s trading.