Marriott Keeps Up Caribbean Expansion, With More in the Pipeline

marriott caribbean pipelineThe new AC Hotel Kingston.
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From all-inclusives in Barbados to design-focused hotels in Jamaica, Marriott International added more than 10,000 rooms to its pipeline in Latin America and the Caribbean last year. 

And the company is showing no signs of slowing down. 

2019 was the company’s fourth consecutive year of record-breaking expansion in the wider Caribbean region — one that saw new properties across 15 different hotel brands. 

“We had a landmark year for hotel transactions in the Caribbean and Latin America in 2019, fueled by the hotel development community’s demand for our leading business support and loyalty program, our attractive brands and strong owner interest in our new all-inclusive brand extensions,” said Laurent de Kousemaeker, chief development officer for Marriott International. 

And Marriott has a regional pipeline of 146 hotels and resorts comprising more than 24,000 rooms, he said.

The company now has 268 open properties and some 55,195 rooms across 34 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

marriott caribbean pipeline
Tamarind by Elegant Hotels in Barbados.

Last year was headlined by Marriott’s high-profile purchase of Barbados-based Elegant Hotels, a move that is essential to the company’s well-publicized foray into the increasingly competitive all-inclusive sector

The latter seems key to the company’s regional growth. 

Indeed, Marriott has signed seven management and franchise agreements for all-inclusive hotels in the region, for a total of nearly 3,200 rooms. 

It’s not a surprise, given the increasing focus on the all-inclusive sector by many of the world’s biggest hotel brands — companies that have already launched all-inclusive expansions in the Caribbean like Hilton and Hyatt, among others.

That includes an 800-room hotel in Jamaica (along with another in Curacao), along with a major step for the brand, the first ever all-inclusive Ritz-Carlton, slated to make its debut in Mexico. 

But it’s not just all-inclusive. 

marriott caribbean pipeline
The new Aloft in San Juan, which opened in the area’s Convention District earlier this month.

Marriott added the popular AC Marriott in Kingston last year (through a partnership with Sandals Resorts International) and says it will also be looking to ramp expansion of brands focused on younger demographics like Aloft (which added a new hotel in Puerto Rico earlier this month) and its newest brand, the millennial-focused Moxy hotels. 

What it means is continued confidence by developers in the region — and continued strength in the region for what is the world’s biggest hotel company.

“We are poised for solid growth in this region,” de Kousemaeker said.