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Marriott has announced an ambitious vision for the hotel chain’s future throughout Asia. The largest hotel chain in terms of annual revenue plans to add 300 new hotels by 2020. To achieve this ambitious target, Marriott plans on opening a new hotel every two weeks, according to CNN. By the end of the decade, the hotel chain hopes to have 1,000 properties up and running in Asia.

Marriott’s Plan for Asia: 40by20

Marriott is calling the hotel chain’s efforts to rapidly expand throughout Asia 40By20. According to Marriott, the 40 refers to a 40% increase in the number of properties operated in Asia by the year 2020.

“The breadth and depth of Marriott International’s footprint means that we are able to offer travelers opportunities to experience more destinations, brands and experiences, especially through Marriott Bonvoy, our industry-leading travel program,” said Craig S. Smith, president and managing director of Marriott International Asia Pacific in a press release.

As of April 2019, Marriott is operating around 710 properties throughout 23 countries in Asia. Additionally, Asia boasts 23 of the hotel chains 30 brands.

The hotel chain cited China, India and consumer markets in Southeast Asia as regions with the highest demand for increased accommodations. China, however, is the “strongest growth driver”. The chain has recently opened major hotels in China including the EDITION Shanghai, The St. Regis Hong Kong and the Aloft Shanghai. By the end of 2019, Marriott hopes to have added the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Shanghai Pudong and Renaissance Xiamen Resort & Spa to the list.

The St. Regis Hong Kong, a Marriott Bonvoy property (Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)
The St. Regis Hong Kong, a Marriott Bonvoy property (Photo by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)

In India, Marriott has plans for 50 new properties, with the chain having recently opened its 100th property in 2019. One notable luxury property opening in the coming months is the Port Muziris, Kochi, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel. Marriott has also announced new hotels in Australia, with more properties to come in Melbourne, Perth and Hobart by the end of 2019.

The planned Bangkok EDITION Hotel (Image courtesy of Marriott)

The brand’s international expansion is by no means limited to Asia, with the brand opening upwards of 20 properties throughout the Middle East and Africa in 2019.

As part of this expansion, CNN is reporting that the hotel chain is looking to technology to improve the guest experience, experimenting with facial recognition and WeChat integration. WeChat is the most popular messaging platform in Asia. Marriott is working with the company to provide guests at select properties in Asia, like The St. Regis, the option to request butler service via the messaging application. In addition to WeChat, Marriott has partnered with Chinese company Alibaba to develop facial recognition technology to streamline the check-in process.

Marriott’s Asian expansion comes as good news for Bonvoy loyalists. Bonvoy offers solid elite benefits and the potential to get a ton of value out of your redemptions. The majority of Marriott hotels award 10 points per $1 spent on stays. In addition, elite status and any current promotions would boost your earning rates even further. If you currently hold (or plan to earn) elite status in Marriott’s program, you can expect a number of perks across the various brands that fall under the Marriott umbrella.

For the complete rundown, check out The Award Traveler’s Guide to Marriott Bonvoy and our guide to What Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status Is Worth in 2019.

For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please subscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.

Featured image of EDITION Hotel in Shanghai by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy

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