American multinational hospitality group Marriott International has completed a $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide on Friday, making it the largest hotel chain in the world.
Marriott operates internationally recognised hotel brands such as The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, Bvlgari Hotels and W Hotels. Meanwhile, Starwood offered a popular range of properties, including Sheraton, Westin and Le Meridien.
Now, all of Starwood’s brands have been added to those of Marriott International. In total, 30 hotel brands now fall under the combined umbrella, comprising 5,700 properties and roughly 1.1 million rooms in more than 110 countries worldwide, eclipsing other major hospitality giants like InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton Worldwide.
“The marriage of these two leading hotel companies means Marriott will deliver an unparalleled guest experience with more hotels in more global destinations, an unrivalled range of comprehensive accommodations to suit every traveller and the industry’s best loyalty programmes,” said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International, in a statement announcing the acquisition.
“Providing such a wide selection reinforces our enduring commitment to offering guests an even greater world to explore with Marriott at their side,” he added.
The outcome of the deal, the largest in the history of hospitality, will have noticeable impacts globally and in the Middle East and North Africa region, as most of the hotels brands that are operated by both Marriott International and Starwood have a presence here.
Today, there are “350,000 rooms under construction and, by 2020, we’ll be at approximately 1.5m rooms globally,” Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director – Middle East & Africa for Marriott International, said at a press conference in Dubai on Sunday.
“We are going into an era where we are, by far and away, the largest operator in Middle East and Africa. Today we have 52,000 operating rooms in 30 countries in the Middle East and Africa. Our pipeline will take us, in the next three years, to 90,000 operating rooms in 38 countries .”
“At this juncture, we’re not aware of such instances, but we’re just starting detailed work and if there is , it would not be very significant,” Kyriakidis told AMEinfo.