BETHESDA, Maryland— Marriott International plans to expand in the Caribbean and in Central and South America, with a focus on all-inclusive resorts (that also serve as meeting and event destinations). The hotel giant plans to open 22 new properties this year in 12 markets, according to a July 11 Travel Pulse article.
Louise Bang, regional vice president, sales + distribution – Caribbean + Latin America, spoke with Travel Pulse about Marriott’s growth and its expanding brand collection.
Bang told Travel Pulse that Marriott is seeing high loads and strong bookings on premium suite room categories, as well as many repeat travelers in the regions, saying “the territory is already such an easy hop from the U.S.”
The Ritz-Carlton Turks and Caicos, which opened in June 2021 with 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor venue space, has been incredibly successful, she said. Also in spring 2021, Marriott opened the St. Regis Bermuda, with just under 16,000 feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space across a boardroom, ballroom, adjoining terrace, event beach and event lawns. Bang thinks Bermuda has more potential from the U.S. as well as international markets, although she acknowledged air travel can be a challenge.
In Sao Paulo, Marriott took over what used to be a Four Seasons and turned it into a JW Marriott, and the Westin Porto de Galinhas in Brazil opened this June.
In Mexico, the JW Marriott Hotel Monterrey Valle opened in 2021, and Marriott just recently opened the JW Marriott Guadalajara. In Cancun, the JW Marriott was refurbished a year ago.
Bang thinks Marriott’s most significant advancement has been in the area of all-inclusive properties.
“We already have a great array there, and we have our partnership with Blue Diamond Resorts,” she told Travel Pulse.
Marriott already had 28 all-inclusive properties across the region in eight markets: Mexico – including the Caribbean coast, Riviera Nayarit and Cancun – Grenada, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. The properties are currently under the Autograph Collection, Delta and Westin flags.