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Hotel Chain Giant

Marriott International, Inc. is an American company that operates and franchises hotels, timeshares, lodgings, and more globally. The company is one of the largest in its industry, with close to 1,5 million rooms available worldwide, and a majority of Marriott hotels and properties are run by franchisees. Marriott International is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland and its shares are traded on the Nasdaq.

From Root Beer to Global Presence

Marriott International, founded by J. Willard and Alice Marriott, traces its origins back to 1927 when the couple started with a nine-seat A&W root beer stand in Washington, D.C. Their modest venture blossomed into the Hot Shoppes restaurant chain, and by 1957, they expanded into the hotel industry with the opening of the Twin Bridges Motor Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The Marriotts capitalized on the emerging trend of road travel in the US, and their timing was impeccable; as interstate highways expanded, so did the demand for convenient, quality lodging. As the company grew, Marriott diversified its portfolio by acquiring and launching various hotel brands to cater to different market segments, from luxury to budget travelers. Today, the company competes on the international stage against other large international chains such as Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group, Hyatt, and others.


Marriott's franchise model is a foundational aspect of its business strategy. Instead of directly owning the majority of its properties, the company typically enters into management or franchise agreements with third-party owners. Under this model, the actual hotel assets are owned by independent investors or entities. Marriott, in turn, provides its brand name, standardized operational procedures, training resources, and access to its centralized reservation system. This arrangement allows the franchisees to gain an advantage from Marriott's established brand identity and systems, aiming for more consistent service delivery and potentially enhanced revenue streams. For its part, Marriott collects a fee, which is often based on a portion of the hotel's revenues. This franchise approach enables Marriott to expand its brand presence without the substantial financial outlay of property ownership, while the franchisees benefit from the backing of a well-known brand in the hospitality industry.

Different Hotel Experiences

Each brand within Marriott's portfolio is structured to offer different types of stays to suit various traveler preferences and needs. For those seeking luxury accommodations, they might consider brands like The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis, which offer high-end services in prime locations. The Autograph Collection and Tribute Portfolio are designed to provide unique and individualized experiences, while Marriott Courtyard is perfectly suited for business travel. This merely scratches the surface of the offerings from Marriott but can act as an indication of the scope and variety of the different properties.