Sudipta Dev – Mumbai
Marriott Hotel Group opened its 28th property in India, with the launch of its mega hospitality project in Mumbai – the 585 keys JW Marriott Hotel Mumbai Sahar. Located at a distance of just a kilometre from T2, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai, the second JW Marriott property in India’s financial capital is positioned as a premier luxury business hotel.
The hotel, which is a Rs 600 crore project, is the seventh JW property in India. Arne M Sorenson, president and CEO, Marriott International, who was present during the launch, said, “The growth potential of the market in India is spectacular, as the number of rooms in India is not very big. The growth rates are the fastest where the local GDP and local middle class is growing the most. India will become one of the top five markets in the next five years.” For Marriott Hotels, majority of the guests (almost 60 per cent) are Indians travelling within the country, the second highest being US business travellers (just short of 20 per cent).
In India, Marriott Hotels & Resorts currently has 52 projects in the pipeline. “All the 52 hotels will include our seven brands,” said Sorenson. He revealed that early this year when he had accompanied US president Obama during the latter’s visit to India, he had got an opportunity to meet the Indian prime minister. “We spoke to the prime minister about the licensing issue. As many as 70 licenses are needed to open a hotel in Mumbai, compared to six in Singapore. We requested him to take an inventory of licenses. I know that the prime minister heard those comments,” he stated with optimism about positive development on this issue in the future.