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Marriott exploring Fairfield opportunity

April 29, 2010 11:23 IST

Marriott logoHospitality major Marriott International Inc plans to introduce its Fairfield brand, a budget hotel, in India.

"It is somewhere between a four- and a three-star. In 60 days, we hope to announce our final decision on this matter," said Rajeev Menon, area vice-president, Marriott International -- India, Pakistan, Maldives and Malaysia.

Marriott is undertaking an assessment of the market and studying the prospects of the brand.

The brand is present in the US.

"Hotels in India have to be customised to a great extent. For example, people here demand more food and beverage options unlike in the US."

Marriott is also expanding its overall presence in the country. By 2013, it aims to have 40 hotels across categories. Out of these, five hotels -- Jaipur (Marriott), Chandigarh (JW Marriott), Bangalore (JW Marriott) and Pune (Marriott and Courtyard) -- would be opened by the end of 2010.

It would also launch Ritz Carlton, a luxury hotel, in Bangalore by 2012.

Marriott has 11 hotels in India and of the 23 brands in its portfolio, uses five in India -- Renaissance, Marriott, JW Marriott, Courtyard and Marriott Executive Apartments.

"In India, the budget category is under consideration. We have enough portfolio in India on luxury," Menon said.

Over 565 million people travel domestically a year, according to Menon. The branded hotel supply of accommodation is 58,000.

"There is great scope for growth as most of the mid-market hotels are unbranded, especially in secondary cities which are under-supplied," he added.

Globally, Marriott has an annual gross revenue of $6 billion. In India, it crossed the $10-million mark last year. "Globally, India has a small share of the pie, since we are just 10 years old here, but we are growing in high double digits, which is positive."

Ruchika Chitravanshi in New Delhi