Nicola Sturgeon to visit behind the scenes as Marriott International prepares to open seven new hotels in Scotland
The First Minister has welcomed Marriott International’s plans to open seven new hotels in Scotland and grow room count by nearly 75%.
Nicola Sturgeon, who is currently in the United States, will meet Kevin Montano, Senior Vice President and Global Development Officer for Marriott International and Sarah Doyle, Director, Global Brand Management for W Hotels Worldwide, while visiting New York, following the hotel group’s announcement of its intention to grow in Scotland over the next four years due to its confidence in the country’s strong economy and tourism sectors.
She is set to be given a tour of Starlab – Marriott’s Design & Innovation Studio – whose cross-functional team designs and tests new technologies, such as keyless room entry, of which W Hotels (a Marriott International brand) was a pioneer.
The new W Edinburgh is set to become Marriott International’s highest profile hotel opening as part of the new expansion.
During her US visit, the First Minister will also be briefed on Marriott International’s plans to more than triple the Moxy Hotels portfolio in Scotland – increasing from one to four hotels in the next four years.
Speaking ahead of the visit, the First Minister said: “Despite the uncertainty brought about by Brexit, Scotland’s economy and tourism sectors remain strong and I am delighted that big businesses like Marriott International are choosing to show their confidence by investing here.
“Scotland’s performance in hotel markets is exceptionally strong with latest figures showing that we are outperforming 11 of the main 12 European hotel markets, including Paris, Madrid and Berlin – only London was higher.
Kevin Montano, Senior Vice President and Global Development Officer for Marriott International, said: “With seven hotels across five Marriott brands (W Hotels, Moxy, Aloft, Courtyard and Residence Inn) scheduled to open within the next four years, we remain optimistic for the future growth of our company and hospitality overall in Scotland”.
Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Dr Lena Wilson said: “Scottish Enterprise is delighted to have supported Marriott’s expansion in Scotland. Scotland has a thriving tourism industry and is a key economic sector attracting substantial inward investment, so Marriott’s decision to increase its presence in Scotland by 2021 demonstrates their competitiveness in the sector and their commitment to Scotland. We look forward to continuing working with the Marriott leadership team going forward.”
According to the Scottish Government, Scotland’s tourism industry is thriving. Figures from January 2017 found there were plans to open 38 new hotels in Scotland adding 4,660 bedrooms. An additional 448 bedrooms are due to be added from nine hotel extension projects, with a total increase of 5,108 new bedrooms between 2017 and 2019.
In 2015, Scotland’s returns to investment for leased hotels outperformed 11 of the main 12 European hotel markets, including Paris, Madrid and Berlin – only London was higher.