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Marriott enters all-inclusive resort business with Ritz deal

BloombergNEW YORK (Bloomberg) — Marriott International Inc. is jumping into the all-inclusive resort business, once the domain of specialty companies that offered lodging, food and other services for a single price.

Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, announced plans for two new resorts that will cost more than $800 million combined to build: a 650-room hotel in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, and a multibranded property on Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit that will include the first all-inclusive project in the history of Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton. Those projects are part of a bigger push into the segment, designed to help Marriott compete for more development deals and prevent frequent customers from booking stays with competitors.

“What’s disappointing to us is when one of our loyal customers says, I want to have an all-inclusive experience in a given destination, and by virtue of the fact that we don’t have that offering, it causes them to go outside of our system,” said Tony Capuano, global chief development officer at Marriott.

All-inclusive resorts gained popularity in the second half of the 20th century as companies like Club Med SAS and Sandals Resorts International packaged vacations for bargain-minded travelers. The niche grew, but the global corporations that came to dominate the hotel industry steered clear. Hyatt Hotels Corp. finally entered the arena with the launch of two new brands in 2013, while Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. last year announced plans to expand its all-inclusive offerings.

Bigger players are embracing the model at a time when full hotels are driving new development, said Bjorn Hanson, a consultant to the lodging and tourism industries. Companies like Marriott have also dedicated more energy to the category as they completed investments in boutique brands and soft-branded collections.

About 1,500 all-inclusive resorts tracked by lodging data provider STR generated $7.9 billion in sales through the first six months of 2019, a 20 percent increase in revenue from five years earlier.Speech

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