Marriott International has named Craig Smith its president for Latin America and the Caribbean, a newly created position.
Smith, currently vice president and COO for Asia-Pacific, joined Marriott 25 years ago. He served as general manager of properties in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Peru before spearheading the company’s expansion into Asia.
This year saw the opening of eight hotels in five countries, including Mexico City’s first Courtyard by Marriott brand at the international airport as well as the JW Marriott Cusco near Machu Picchu in Peru.
Marriott International plans to double its footprint in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2017, adding 14,000 jobs and more than 70 additional properties across 10 lodging brands in 26 countries and territories.
“Latin America’s booming economy has led to an expanding middle class eager to travel to new places and do business within and outside the region, providing opportunities for Marriott’s portfolio of brands,” Smith said.
Marriott first entered the region with the 450-room CasaMagna Marriott Cancun and the 433-room CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta, both in 1990.