Marriott International signs in at the top of the lodging industry. The company is one of the world's leading hoteliers with some 4,400 operated or franchised properties worldwide. Its hotels include such full-service brands as Renaissance Hotels and its flagship Marriott Hotels & Resorts, as well as select-service and extended-stay brands Courtyard and Fairfield Inn. It also owns the Ritz-Carlton luxury chain and resort, and manages about 45 golf courses. The Marriott family, including J. W. Marriott Jr., owns about 30% of Marriott International.
While the bulk of its hotels are located in the US, about 15% of its properties are international. Marriott has operations in more than 80 countries in the Americas, the UK and Ireland, the Middle East and Africa, Asia, Australia, and Continental Europe.
Marriott's business model focuses on managing and franchising hotels, rather than owning them. More than 50% of its hotel rooms are operated by franchisees that pay the company fees and royalties, as well as a percentage of their food and beverage revenue.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2016 Marriott agreed to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for about $13.3 billion. The merger will create the world's biggest hotel company with more than 5,500 hotels and about 1.1 million rooms in some 100 countries worldwide. The deal, which is expected to close in mid-2016, will give Marriott more hotel properties in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.