Marriott Hints At All-Inclusives Brand

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It's not ready to announce a new brand—if it ever will—but a Marriott official today said the mega-hotel company has been studying the all-inclusive resort segment “for two years.” Speaking at the inaugural Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit in Miami, Ed Fuller said he thinks “there is a role for us in all-inclusives.” Fuller heads all of Marriott's international operations.

By contrast, Jim Abrahamson, chief of IHG's Americas division, said his company isn't considering an all-inclusive brand, even though several of its properties in Latin America operate in the segment. “For us, we need to operate all-inclusives as a defensive measure in some markets, such as Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) and Cancun (Mexico),” he told the crowd of 200-plus delegates.

Abrahamson and Fuller were on a lunch-time leaders panel at the conference that originally was slated for four participants. The other two executives—Steve Joyce and Thorsten Kirschke of Carlson—were snowed in and couldn't make it to the conference, which wraps up tomorrow.

Fuller said Marriott currently has 19 properties in the Caribbean, but that roster could double or triple within five years. Most of the growth, he said, will come in three-star properties, such as its Courtyard brand. Likewise, Abrahamson predicted IHG will double its Caribbean presence in five years, mostly through conversions. The company currently has 10 properties in the region.

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