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Marriott International

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Marriott International, Inc.
Company typePublic
PredecessorMarriott Corporation
FoundedMarch 5, 1927; 97 years ago (1927-03-05) in Washington, D.C., U.S. (as Marriott Corporation)
HeadquartersBethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Number of locations
8,785 (2023)
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease US$23.7 billion (2023)
Increase US$3.86 billion (2023)
Increase US$3.08 billion (2023)
Total assetsIncrease US$‪25.7 billion (2023)
Total equityDecrease −US$682 million (2023)
Number of employees
411,000 (2023)
Websitewww.marriott.com Edit this at Wikidata
Footnotes / references

Marriott International, Inc. is an American multinational company that operates, franchises, and licenses lodging brands that include hotel, residential, and timeshare properties.[1][2] Marriott International owns over 30 hotel and timeshare brands with 8,785 locations and 1,597,380 rooms across its network.[3] Marriott International is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. The company is the successor to the hospitality division of the Marriott Corporation, founded by J. Willard Marriott (1900–1985) and his wife Alice Marriott (1907–2000).


Marriott International hotels worldwide
Marriott International's headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland

Marriott International is the largest hotel company in the world by the number of available rooms. It has 32 brands with 8,785 properties containing 1,597,380 rooms in 139 countries and territories.[1] Of these 8,785 properties 2,046 are managed but not owned by Marriott, 6,563 are owned and managed by independent hospitality companies under franchise agreements with Marriott, and 50 are both owned and managed by Marriott. The company also operates 20 hotel reservation centers.[1]

Marriott International, Inc. was formed in 1993 when Marriott Corporation split into two companies: Marriott International, Inc., which franchises and manages properties, and Host Marriott Corporation (now Host Hotels & Resorts), which owns properties.[4]

Since the founders were missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, copies of the Book of Mormon are provided in hotel rooms in addition to the Bible.[5]


Founding and early years[edit]

Marriott Corporation was founded by John Willard Marriott in 1927 when he and his wife, Alice Marriott, opened a root beer stand in Washington, D.C.[6] After serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New England, Marriott traveled to Washington, D.C. where he experienced the humid summer weather of the city. Marriott was convinced that what residents of the city needed was a place to get a cool drink, and so after returning to Utah and graduating from The University of Utah, Marriott purchased the rights to franchise an A&W root beer stand in Columbia Heights.[7] The first summer saw brisk business, but as cold weather approached they realized the seasonal nature of their business and received permission from A&W to start selling food. He named the restaurant Hot Shoppes and watched as it grew in popularity.[8] Always looking for new ways to improve his company, he bought the vacant lot next to one of his Hot Shoppes, removed the curb, and began offering the first drive-in service on the East Coast. This move popularized the restaurants, and by 1932, the Marriott's owned 7 Hot Shoppes in the D.C. area.[7] In 1953, Hot Shoppes, Inc. became a public company via an initial public offering.[9]

The company opened its first hotel, the Marriott Motor Hotel, in Arlington, Virginia, on January 16, 1957.[10][11] It cost $9 per night, plus an extra $1 for every person that was in the car.[12] Its second hotel, the Marriott Key Bridge Motor Hotel in Rosslyn, Arlington, Virginia, opened in 1959,[13] and was Marriott International's longest continuously operating hotel until its closure in July 2021.[14][15]

Hot Shoppes, Inc. was renamed the Marriott Corporation in 1967.[16]

In 1972, the Marriott lodging division acquired the Greek-based Sun Line cruise line,[17] which it owned until 1987.[18]

In 1976, the company opened two theme parks, each named Marriott's Great America, in California and Illinois.[19] Marriott sold the parks in 1984, with the California park bought by the City of Santa Clara[20] and the Illinois park bought by Bally Manufacturing, then the parent company of the Six Flags Corporation(both are now owned by Six Flags).[21][22][23]

Marriott International[edit]

Marriott International, Inc. was formed in 1993 when Marriott Corporation split into two companies: Marriott International, Inc., which franchises and manages properties, and Host Marriott Corporation (now Host Hotels & Resorts), which owns properties.[4]

In 1995, Marriott was the first hotel company to offer online reservations.[24]

In April 1995, Marriott acquired a 49% interest in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.[25] Marriott believed that it could increase sales and profit margins for The Ritz-Carlton, a troubled chain with many properties either losing money or barely breaking even. The cost to Marriott was estimated to have been about $200 million in cash and assumed debt. The next year, Marriott spent $331 million to acquire The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, and buy a majority interest in two properties owned by William Johnson, a real estate developer who had purchased The Ritz-Carlton, Boston in 1983 and expanded his Ritz-Carlton holdings over the next twenty years. Ritz-Carlton expanded into the timeshare market. Ritz Carlton benefited from Marriott's reservation system and buying power. In 1998, Marriott acquired majority ownership of The Ritz-Carlton.[26]

In 1997, the company acquired the Renaissance Hotels and Ramada brands from Chow Tai Fook Group and its associate company, New World Development.[27][28] Marriott International also signed an agreement to manage hotels owned by New World Development.[29] The same year the company also got into the home cleaning business by starting a new venture dubbed HomeSolutions.[30]

In 2001, the Marriott World Trade Center was destroyed during the September 11 attacks.

In 2002, CTF Hotel Holdings Inc., a company that owns a hotel in Hong Kong managed by Marriott, sued Marriott alleging that Marriott engaged in extortion and bribery. According to the allegations, Marriott contracted to receive audio-visual services from Molloy. Marriott paid an inflated amount to Molloy and pocketed the 1.7 million dollars above its fee. Marriott had to return the money to CTF Hotel. CTF Hotel also accused Marriott of accepting bribes from suppliers.[31]

In 2003, the company completed the corporate spin-off of its senior living properties (now part of Sunrise Senior Living) and Marriott Distribution Services.[32] In the same year, the owners of the Marriott-operated, Town Hotels, sued Marriott for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud. They claimed that Marriott along with the Avendra hotel chain violated West Virginia law by contracting with vendors and receiving "sponsorship fees" from them to provide services to Town Hotels, when according to the contract, Marriott was forbidden to profit from the contract except for management fees. [33]

In 2004, the company sold its right to the Ramada brand to Cendant, acquired in 1997.[34]

In 2005, Marriott International and Marriott Vacation Club International were two of the 53 entities that contributed the maximum of $250,000 to the Second inauguration of George W. Bush.[35][36][37]

On July 19, 2006, Marriott implemented a smoking ban in all buildings it operated in the United States and Canada effective September 2006.[38][39][40]

In 2007, Marriott became the first hotel chain to serve food that is completely free of trans fats at all of its North American properties.[41][42]

Hotels franchised or operated by the company were affected by the 2003 Marriott Hotel bombing, the Islamabad Marriott Hotel bombing in 2008, and the 2009 Jakarta bombings.

On November 11, 2010, Marriott announced plans to add over 600 hotel properties by 2015, primarily in emerging markets: India, where it planned to have 100 hotel properties, China, and Southeast Asia.[43]

On January 21, 2011, Marriott said that adult movies would not be included in the entertainment offered at new hotels, which would use an Internet-based video on demand system.[44][45]

In 2011, Mitt Romney received $260,390 in director's fees from Marriott International,[46] despite the fact that he had already stepped down from the board of directors to run for President of the United States.[47] His released 2010 tax returns showed earnings in 2010 of $113,881 in director's fees from Marriott.[48] In February 2012, Bloomberg News reported on Romney's years overseeing tax matters for Marriott, which had included several "scams" (quoting John McCain) and legal actions brought against Marriott, which Marriott lost in court, over its manipulations of the U.S. Tax Code.[49][50]

Effective March 31, 2012, Bill Marriott assumed the role of executive chairman of the company and relinquished the role of chief executive officer to Arne Sorenson.[51][52][53]

In December 2012, Guinness World Records recognized the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, a five star hotel, as the tallest hotel in the world.[54]

In 2013, the owners of the Madison 92nd Street Associates LLC, who contracted with Marriott to manage their hotel, sued Marriott for $400 million, alleging that Marriott had conspired with the workers' committee. They claimed that Marriott allowed the workers to unionize at the Madison-owned hotel in exchange for not unionizing at Marriott's flagship hotels.[55]

On October 3, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined Marriott $600,000 for unlawful use of a "containment" feature of a Wi-Fi monitoring system to deliberately interfere with client-owned networks in the convention space of its Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville. The scheme disrupted operation of clients' mobile phone hotspots via Wi-Fi deauthentication attacks.[56] Marriott International, Inc., the American Hotel and Lodging Association and Ryman Hospitality Properties responded by unsuccessfully petitioning the FCC to change the rules to allow them to continue jamming client-owned networks, a position which they were forced to abandon in early 2015 in response to backlash from clients, mainstream media, major technology companies, and mobile carriers.[57][58] The incident drew unfavorable publicity to Marriott's practice of charging exorbitant fees for Wi-Fi.[59][60]

On April 1, 2015, Marriott acquired Canadian hotel chain Delta Hotels, which operated 38 hotels at that time.[61][62]

On November 16, 2015, Marriott announced the acquisition of Starwood for $13 billion.[63] A higher offer for Starwood at $14 billion from a consortium led by China's Anbang Insurance Group was announced March 3, 2016.[64][65][66] After Marriott raised its bid to $13.6 billion on March 21, Starwood terminated the Anbang agreement and proceeded with the merger with Marriott.[67] Following receipt of regulatory approvals, Marriott closed the merger with Starwood on September 23, 2016, creating the world's largest hotel company with over 5700 properties, 1.1 million rooms, and a portfolio of 30 brands.[68] The Starwood acquisition gave Marriott a larger non-US presence; approximately 75% of Starwood's revenues were from non-US markets.[69][70]

On November 30, 2018, Marriott disclosed that the former Starwood brands had been subject to a data breach. After the disclosure, Attorney General of New York Barbara Underwood announced an investigation into the data breach.[71][72] The cyberattack was found to be a part of a Chinese intelligence-gathering effort that also hacked health insurers and the security clearance files of millions more Americans. The hackers are suspected of working on behalf of the Ministry of State Security, the country's Communist-controlled civilian spy agency.[73][74][75] Initially, Marriott said that 500 million customers' personal information had been exposed.[76] In January 2019, the company updated the number of guests affected to "less than 383 million" customers, and claimed many of the customer's payment cards had expired.[77] The UK Information Commissioner's Office fined Marriott £18 million for breaches to GDPR law that contributed to the breach.[78] Australia's Information Commissioner served Marriott an 'enforceable undertaking' to improve their security.[79]

In 2019 and 2021, Marriott faced an investigation[80] and a class action lawsuit[81] in the US for its practice of charging resort fees that were not included in the room price, with the services included in these "resort fees" unclear. This method is prohibited in many parts of the world and is known as "drip pricing".[82]

In December 2019, the company acquired Elegant Hotels, operator of 7 hotels in Barbados.[83]

In February 2020, the company discovered a data breach that included the theft of contact information for 5.2 million customers.[84]

In April 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company instituted additional cleanliness standards, including requiring the use of electrostatic sprayers with disinfectant, adding disinfecting wipes in all hotel rooms, and removing or re-arranging furniture in public areas to allow more space for social distancing.[85] During the pandemic, global occupancy fell as low as 31%.[86]

President and CEO Arne Sorenson died on February 15, 2021, from pancreatic cancer.[87] On February 23, 2021, Anthony Capuano was appointed to fill Sorensen's vacancy as CEO and Director, having previously served as Marriott's group president of global development, design and operations.[88]

In November 2021, the company was criticized for refusing to host the World Uyghur Congress at one of its properties in Prague, citing reasons of "political neutrality".[89]

In August 2022, employees began moving into the company's new 21-story, 785,000-square-foot headquarters building on Wisconsin Avenue, ahead of an official opening on September 21. The new building was constructed over four years as part of a $600 million downtown Bethesda campus, together with the adjacent Marriott Bethesda Downtown hotel.[90]

In 2023, a criminal investigation was opened against Marriott in Poland, claiming that it acted fraudulently and unethically against the Lim company, the owner of a Warsaw hotel. During the COVID-19 period, Marriott would not keep up the hotel's maintenance and shifted the costs of maintaining the empty hotel to the Lim Company. At the same time Marriott prevented the Lim Company from renting the hotel to the National Health Fund for doctors' housing or contracting for advertising deals until the Lim Company would pay unwarranted bonuses to Marriott.[91]

Also in the same year, on May 1, Marriott announced that it completed the acquisition of Mexican hotelier Hoteles City Express. By this move, Marriott officially entered the affordable midscale-segment under City Express by Marriott brands.[92][93] The company also launched another brand focusing on budget extended stays called StudioRes in August[94][95], and an extension to its Four Points by Sheraton brand called Four Points Express in September.

Corporate affairs[edit]

Senior leadership[edit]

From Marriott's founding in 1927 to 2012, the company's senior leadership was led by members of the Marriott family. In 2012, Arne Sorenson became the first non-Marriott family member to be appointed chief executive; this practice continued when Anthony Capuano was named his successor in 2021. The current practice is members of the Marriott family are named chairman while other company executives are named as chief executive.

  1. J. Willard Marriott (1927–1985)
  2. Bill Marriott (1985–2022)
  3. David Marriott (since May 2022)
Chief executives
  1. J. Willard Marriott (1927–1972)
  2. Bill Marriott (1972–2012)
  3. Arne Sorenson (2012–2021)
  4. Anthony Capuano (since February 2021)

Business figures[edit]

Sales by region (2023)[96]
Region Sales in billion $ share
United States & Canada 17.7 74.6%
International 4.5 18.8%
Unallocated Corporate and Other 1.6 6.6%
Year[97] Revenue Net income Total assets Employees[98]
Millions of USD ($)
2005 11,129 669 8,530 143,000
2006 11,995 608 8,588 150,600
2007 12,990 696 8,942 151,000
2008 12,879 362 8,903 146,000
2009 10,908 −346 7,933 137,000
2010 11,691 458 8,983 129,000
2011 12,317 198 5,910 120,000
2012 11,814 571 6,342 127,000
2013 12,784 626 6,794 123,000
2014 13,796 753 6,833 123,500
2015 14,486 859 6,082 127,500
2016 15,407 808 24,140 226,500
2017 20,452 1,459 23,948 177,000
2018 20,758 1,907 23,696 176,000
2019 20,972 1,273 25,051 174,000
2020 10,571 −267 24,701 121,000
2021 13,857 1,099 25,553 120,000
2022 20,773 2,358 25,184 377,000
2023 23,713 3,083 25,712 411,000


Marriott International reported Total CO2e emissions (Direct + Indirect) for the twelve months ending 31 December 2020 at 5,166 Kt (-1,643 /-24.1% y-o-y)[99] and aims to reach net zero emissions by 2050.[100]

Marriott International's annual Total CO2e Emissions - Market-Based Scope 1 + Scope 2 (in kilotonnes)
Dec 2017 Dec 2018 Dec 2019 Dec 2020
6,238[101] 6,836[102] 6,809[103] 5,166[99]

Loyalty program[edit]

Marriott Bonvoy is Marriott's current loyalty program and was formed in the February 2019 merger of its three former rewards programs: Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest. Starwood Preferred Guest (also known as SPG) was founded in 1999 as the first in the industry to enforce a policy of no blackout dates, no capacity controls, and online redemption. In 2012, Starwood Preferred Guest began offering lifetime status and a dedicated Starwood ambassador for loyal members. Ritz-Carlton Rewards was founded in 2010. Members were able to receive air miles instead of reward points and able to earn ten points (or two miles) for every dollar spent on any Ritz-Carlton room rates. Despite the restriction of membership to only one of the two programs, members of Ritz-Carlton Rewards were able to earn points in other Marriott hotels, while Marriott Rewards members were able to earn points at a Ritz-Carlton.[104]


  • In November 2020, Marriott International was named as one of the "Top 75 Companies for Executive Women" by Working Mother.[105]
  • In June 2022, Marriott was recognized by the International Hospitality Institute on the Global 100 in Hospitality, a list featuring the 100 Most Powerful People in Global Hospitality.[106][107]

Marriott brands[edit]

The Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg
JW Marriott at the Mall of America
Westin in Valencia
Aloft Hotel in Providence


As of 2024, Marriott International operates hotels, resorts and other properties under the following brands internationally.[108]




Longer Stays[edit]

The Luxury Collection[edit]

Hotel Imperial, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Vienna, Austria

The Luxury Collection is a brand of Marriott International for luxury properties. It is notable as the first "soft brand" hotel chain.[109] Most hotels of the brand are located in converted historic buildings, including palaces or older hotels. The brand also enlists notable designers to craft luxury travel accessories that are available exclusively on the brand's website.[110]


The Luxury Collection brand began on January 13, 1992, when ITT Sheraton designated 28 of its most expensive hotels and 33 of the Sheraton Towers, as the ITT Sheraton Luxury Collection.[111]

In February 1994, ITT Sheraton Hotels and Resorts acquired a controlling interest in CIGA (Compagnia Italiana Grandi Alberghi, or Italian Grand Hotels Company), an Italian international hotel chain that owned several luxury properties in Europe.[112] The majority of the CIGA hotels were folded into The Luxury Collection. CIGA's original logo, the four horses of St. Mark, was kept for The Luxury Collection brand logo until 2010; each Luxury Collection hotel now uses its own logo.

In 2011, it embarked on an advertising campaign.[113] In 2012, the brand announced a major expansion in Asia, particularly in China.[114] Also in 2014, the brand signed Danish supermodel Helena Christensen as spokesperson.[115] In 2015, the company launched a $700 million program to renovate properties.[116]


As of December 31, 2020, there were 118 hotels comprising 23,243 rooms operating under the brand. Amongst its several most notable hotels are Hotel Alfonso XIII, Gritti Palace Hotel, IVY Hotel + Residences, Hotel Imperial, ITC Grand Chola, Marqués de Riscal Hotel, The Nines, Palace Hotel, San Francisco, The Park Tower Knightsbridge Hotel, Phoenician Resort, Hotel President Wilson, The St. Anthony Hotel, and Royal Hawaiian Hotel.[117] The Royal Penthouse Suite at Hotel President Wilson in Geneva, part of The Luxury Collection, billed at US$65,000 per night, is listed at the top of the World's 15 Most Expensive Hotel Suites list compiled by CNN in 2012.[118]

Great America parks[edit]

Yankee Harbor, one of the original areas part of Marriott Great America theme parks.

Marriott developed three theme parks, of which two opened: Marriott's Great America in Santa Clara, California and Marriott's Great America in Gurnee, Illinois.[119] A third site was proposed but never built in the Washington D.C. area, but was cancelled due to strong opposition by surrounding residents.[120][121] The parks were operated by Marriott from 1976 until 1984, and were themed to celebrate American history. The American-themed areas under Marriott's tenure of ownership included "Carousel Plaza" (the first section beyond the main gates); small-town-themed "Hometown Square"; "The Great Midwest Livestock Exposition At County Fair" with a Turn of the Century rural-fair theme; "Yankee Harbor", inspired by a 19th-century New England port; "Yukon Territory", resembling a Canadian/Alaskan logging camp; and the French Quarter-modeled "Orleans Place". At the opening, the parks had nearly identical layouts.[122][123][124]

In 1984, Marriott disposed of its theme park division;[125] both parks were sold and today are associated with national theme park chains. The Gurnee location was sold to Six Flags where it operates today as Six Flags Great America.[22] The Santa Clara location was sold to the City of Santa Clara, who retained the underlying property and sold the park to Kings Entertainment Company,[126] renamed Paramount Parks in 1993.[127] From 1993 to 2006, the Santa Clara location was known as Paramount's Great America.[127] In 2006, Paramount Parks was acquired by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company;[128] the Santa Clara park operates today as California's Great America.[129] In the years after their sale, the layouts of both of the parks have diverged substantially.[122]

See also[edit]


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