Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

May 09 2014

US Luxury Hotel Brand Shifts Its Attention Overseas

By David McMillin

While the hotel industry doesn’t seem to be worried about adding new rooms in the US, one luxury brand is focused on capitalizing on emerging opportunities in new regions of the world. Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton brand has announced that it will open 15 new hotels by 2016. However, none of those properties will be in North America.

“Travelers are increasingly curious and venturing beyond their traditional vacation spots,” Bob Kharazmi, Global Operations Officer, Ritz-Carlton, said in a statement.

The new Ritz-Carlton properties will be popping up in places such as Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, China and Panama. After this initial round of new openings, it looks like the brand will continue to focus on its global presence.

“We have also earmarked the Middle East, Asia, Australasia and the Indian Sub-continent as key development regions in the post-2016 period to maintain our growth momentum,” Kharazmi added. “Given the rising number of visitors and exciting developments in infrastructure, we anticipate strong business and leisure tourism potential in these markets and look forward to keeping up the momentum.”

SEE ALSO: 5 Key Challenges Facing Hoteliers

More Hotels Making International Development A Priority

The Ritz-Carlton announcement certainly isn’t the first example of major hotel chains exploring opportunities in new destinations. Starwood recently relocated its headquarters to Dubai for one month while Marriott is currently working on adding 10,000 rooms in Africa.

“As meeting planners work to embrace the spirit of globalization, hoteliers are leading the way forward,” Michelle Crowley, Director, Global Development, PCMA, says. “There can be a lot of uncertainty when it comes to taking a meeting to a new market for the first time, but a trusted hotel brand can make a big difference.”

“In addition to making life easier for planners, the brand can make attendees feel more confident about what to expect from their experience,” Crowley adds.

SEE ALSO: Taking Meetings Education Worldwide

Thinking about exploring ways to engage a worldwide audience or plan a meeting outside North America? Click here for insights into international planning with PCMA’s Global Professionals OnDemand education bundle.

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