Marriott creates division for luxury brands

The Casita Village at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, a resort near Tucson, Arizona.
The Casita Village at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, a resort near Tucson, Arizona.

Marriott International has created a division for its luxury brands and plans to expand its hotel count within that sector by 7% next year.

The Marriott International Luxury Brands Group will oversee the five legacy Marriott luxury brands (Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, JW Marriott, Edition and Bulgari) and the luxury brands from the Starwood acquisition (St. Regis, Luxury Collection and W).

Marriott announced the formation of the group on Monday at the International Luxury Travel Market conference in Cannes, France.

Marriott plans to open 28 luxury hotels next year, primarily under the former Starwood brands. Specifically, Marriott plans to open nine Luxury Collection, six W and five St. Regis hotels. 

Marriott is focusing on coordinating its growth in the luxury sector, where the company says travel spending has jumped almost 50% during the past five years. Coordinating that effort is all the more necessary because just eight of the 28 hotels that it plans to open under the Luxury Brands Group are under brands Marriott had operated before its acquisition of Starwood in September. 

Marriott last week said it planned to work more closely with travel professionals to better delineate its Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis luxury brands. Marriott will position Ritz-Carlton hotels as luxury properties that are a jumping-off point to explore a destination, while St. Regis hotels are being positioned as iconic properties that are destinations in themselves.

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