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Marriott Leads Conversation on Future of Travel at WTTC in Peru

LIMA, Peru, Sept. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Latin America and the Caribbean will be a key driver of Marriott International's hotel and jobs growth over the next three years. At this week's World Travel & Tourism Conference (WTTC), Craig S. Smith, president of the Caribbean and Latin America at Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR), announced that the company expects to reach the milestone of 5,000 hotels by 2017, planning to add 1,300 new hotels in the next three years at the rate of approximately 6 per week. In Latin America alone, the company expects to close 2017 with 150 hotels across 25 countries, nearly doubling its portfolio in Latin America.

"We see expansion of the middle class and continued growth in disposable income fueling worldwide travel among Latin Americans," said Smith. "This new generation of travelers is seeking a seamless experience, including easier visa and entry processes along with more choices and innovative services to book and explore destinations. Building a healthy travel industry will also ensure economic growth and job creation."

Other key points regarding the vibrant future of Latin American travel and Marriott's role:

  • In 2013, more than 1.1 billion people traveled outside their home borders. Marriott expects to see 2 billion global travelers by 2030, and Latin Americans will play a big role in the growth of global travel. (WTTC).
  • 2024 Latin American GDP forecast to rise by 4.1% to USD 221 Billion. (WTTC)
  • As more people travel, the growth in hotels means more jobs which equates to more customers, a "virtuous cycle." In the next 4 years, Marriott plans to grow in the region from 82 hotels and nearly 23,000 rooms in the Caribbean and Latin America to 150 hotels and 27,000 associates by 2017 across 10 lodging brands and 25 countries.
  • In developing countries mobile phones are often the only way to connect to the world, including the internet, healthcare and financial needs. About 75 percent of the world's 6 billion mobile phones are located there.
  • In 2014, Marriott became the first hospitality company to enable job seekers to apply for new career opportunities at the company on their mobile devices.
  • Growth and creating opportunities are both critical in the region. In Haiti, where Marriott plans to open its first hotel in early 2015, the company is creating robust training programs to train and hire 200 employees, and helping to develop a tourism infrastructure that can employ even more. The Marriott Hotel in earthquake-ravaged Port au Prince will help boost the local economy by supporting local vendors and sending the signal that Haiti is open for business.
  • Working with the Ministry of Tourism, Marriott interviewed and selected 10 Haitian youth to gain work and life skills by being part of the operations and food & beverage opening teams for the new JW Marriott Hotel Santo Domingo.

NOTE: The statements about the numbers of hotels that Marriott expects to add in the coming years are "forward looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Form 10-Q/A; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Marriott International, Inc. (Nasdaq:MAR) is a leading lodging company with over 4,000 properties in 78 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $13 billion in fiscal year 2013. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Laura Botelho +1 (954) 684-5321 Laura.Botelho@marriott.com

Source:Marriott International, Inc.