Marriott, after the buyout of Starwood, has surpassed the Taj group to become India’s largest hotel chain with nearly 18,000 rooms.
The Tata-promoted Indian Hotels Company has a room inventory of 16,640, but has more hotels than anyone else in the country at 125 in four brands.
Marriott and Starwood, with seven brands each in India, have 79 hotels in the country.
Indian hospitality companies will feel the heat of the Marriott-Starwood merger as another 79 hotels with 16,000 rooms from both chains are set to open in India over the next three years. Forty of these will be under Marriott and 39 under Starwood.
The additions will increase the number of cities Marriott and Starwood cater to from 19 to 33. Properties in the pipeline were signed deals and construction of many had begun, said a Marriott executive.
What will hurt India hospitality companies more is the Marriott-Starwood worldwide membership base of 85 million. Of these 1.5 million are in India.
Loyalty members form a major chunk of business for hotel companies, a trend catching on in India as well. “Business through loyalty memberships forms 50 per cent of our business in India and globally,” Menon added.
The combined entity has a bouquet of 30 brands. Half of them are present in India but Marriott is open to bringing in more. Marriott’s 15th brand, W, is set to debut in Goa next month.
In the mid-market and upscale segments the combined entity has Four Points by Sheraton and Courtyard by Marriott. Indian companies in this segment have brands like Gateway and Vivanta by Taj and Welcome by ITC.
During the last two quarters Marriott and Starwood reported occupancy of 70 per cent against an industry average of 60 per cent.
“Occupancy is at the highest in the last few years. Revenue per available room in also on an upswing. The country as just 160,000 branded hotel rooms and there is need for many more,” Menon added.