MAR » Topics » Competition

This excerpt taken from the MAR 10-K filed Feb 12, 2009.

Competition

We encounter strong competition both as a lodging operator and as a franchisor. We believe that by operating a number of hotels among our brands, we stay in direct touch with customers and react to changes in the marketplace more quickly than chains that rely exclusively on franchising. There are approximately 815 lodging management companies in the United States, including several that operate more than 100 properties. These operators are primarily private management firms, but also include several large national chains that own and operate their own hotels and also franchise their brands. Our management contracts are typically long-term in nature, but most allow the hotel owner to replace the management firm if certain financial or performance criteria are not met.

In the current economic environment, faced with softening demand, we have taken steps to reduce operating costs. Due to the competitive nature of our industry, we have focused these efforts on areas that have limited or no impact on the guest experience. While additional reductions may become necessary to preserve operating margins, we

 

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would expect to implement any such efforts in a manner designed to maintain customer loyalty, owner preference, and associate satisfaction, to help maintain or increase our market share.

Affiliation with a national or regional brand is prevalent in the U.S. lodging industry. In 2008, approximately 68 percent of U.S. hotel rooms were brand-affiliated. Most of the branded properties are franchises, under which the operator pays the franchisor a fee for use of its hotel name and reservation system. The franchising business is fairly concentrated, with the six largest franchisors operating multiple brands accounting for a significant proportion of all U.S. rooms.

Outside the United States, branding is much less prevalent and most markets are served primarily by independent operators, although branding is more common for new hotel development. We believe that chain affiliation will increase in overseas markets as local economies grow, trade barriers are reduced, international travel accelerates and hotel owners seek the economies of centralized reservation systems and marketing programs.

Based on lodging industry data, we have a 9 percent share of the U.S. hotel market (based on number of rooms) and we estimate less than a 1 percent share of the lodging market outside the United States. We believe that our hotel brands are attractive to hotel owners seeking a management company or franchise affiliation because our hotels typically generate higher occupancies and Revenue per Available Room (“RevPAR”) than direct competitors in most market areas. We attribute this performance premium to our success in achieving and maintaining strong customer preference. We believe that the location and quality of our lodging facilities, our marketing programs, our reservation systems and our emphasis on guest service and satisfaction are contributing factors across all of our brands.

Properties that we operate or franchise are regularly upgraded to maintain their competitiveness. Most of our management agreements provide for the allocation of funds, generally a fixed percentage of revenue, for periodic renovation of buildings and replacement of furnishings. These ongoing refurbishment programs, along with periodic brand initiatives, are generally adequate to preserve or enhance the competitive position and earning power of the hotels and timeshare properties. Competitor hotels converting to one of Marriott’s brands typically complete renovations in conjunction with the conversion.

The vacation ownership industry is comprised of a number of highly competitive companies including several branded hotel companies. Since entering the timeshare industry in 1984, we have become a recognized leader in vacation ownership worldwide. Competition in the timeshare interval, fractional, and residential business is based primarily on the quality and location of timeshare resorts, trust in the brand, the pricing of product offerings, and the availability of program benefits, such as exchange programs. We believe that our focus on offering distinct vacation experiences, combined with our financial strength, diverse market presence, strong brands, and well-maintained properties, will enable us to remain competitive. Approximately 53 percent of our timeshare ownership resort sales come from additional purchases by or referrals from existing owners.

Marriott Rewards is a frequent guest program with over 30 million members and nine participating Marriott brands. The Marriott Rewards program yields repeat guest business by rewarding frequent stays with points toward free hotel stays and other rewards, or airline miles with any of 32 participating airline programs. We believe that Marriott Rewards generates substantial repeat business that might otherwise go to competing hotels and allows the company to tailor promotional offerings to guest needs and interests. In 2008, approximately 50 percent of our room nights were purchased by Marriott Rewards members. In addition, the ability of timeshare owners to convert unused intervals into Marriott Rewards points enhances the competitive position of our timeshare brands. Effective January 15, 2009, the Marriott Rewards program eliminated blackout dates at nearly 2,900 hotels worldwide, giving Marriott Rewards members greater access to redemption nights at the Company’s brands.

In the recent difficult economic climate, Marriott has rolled out aggressive new marketing programs to drive demand, leveraging Marriott Rewards and www.Marriott.com.

Discontinued Operations

This excerpt taken from the MAR 10-K filed Feb 15, 2008.

Competition

We encounter strong competition both as a lodging operator and as a franchisor. We believe that by operating a number of hotels among our brands, we stay in direct touch with customers and react to changes in the marketplace more quickly than chains that rely exclusively on franchising. There are approximately 770 lodging management companies in the United States, including several that operate more than 100 properties. These operators are primarily private management firms, but also include several large national chains that own and operate their own hotels and also franchise their brands. Our management contracts are typically long-term in nature, but most allow the hotel owner to replace the management firm if certain financial or performance criteria are not met.

Affiliation with a national or regional brand is prevalent in the U.S. lodging industry. In 2007, approximately two-thirds of U.S. hotel rooms were brand-affiliated. Most of the branded properties are franchises, under which the operator pays the franchisor a fee for use of its hotel name and reservation system. The franchising business is fairly concentrated, with the six largest franchisors operating multiple brands accounting for a significant proportion of all U.S. rooms.

Outside the United States, branding is much less prevalent and most markets are served primarily by independent operators, although branding is more common for new hotel development. We believe that chain affiliation will increase in overseas markets as local economies grow, trade barriers are reduced, international travel accelerates and hotel owners seek the economies of centralized reservation systems and marketing programs.

Based on lodging industry data, we have a 9 percent share of the U.S. hotel market (based on number of rooms) and we estimate less than a 1 percent share of the lodging market outside the United States. We believe that our hotel brands are attractive to hotel owners seeking a management company or franchise affiliation because our hotels typically generate higher occupancies and Revenue per Available Room (“RevPAR”) than direct competitors in most market areas. We attribute this performance premium to our success in achieving and maintaining strong customer preference. We believe that the location and quality of our lodging facilities, our marketing programs, our reservation systems and our emphasis on guest service and satisfaction are contributing factors across all of our brands.

Properties that we operate or franchise are regularly upgraded to maintain their competitiveness. Most of our management agreements provide for the allocation of funds, generally a fixed percentage of revenue, for periodic renovation of buildings and replacement of furnishings. These ongoing refurbishment programs, along with periodic brand initiatives, are generally adequate to preserve or enhance the competitive position and earning power of the hotels and timeshare properties.

While service excellence is Marriott’s hallmark, we continually look for new ways to delight our guests. Currently, we are focused on elevating the Marriott experience beyond that of a traditional hotel stay to a total guest experience that encompasses exceptional style, personal luxury, and superior service. This approach to hospitality, “The New Look and Feel of Marriott Now,” is influenced by the world’s foremost innovations in design, technology, culinary expertise, service, and comfort. This evolution can be seen across all of our brands, in new and stylish hotel designs, luxurious bedding, exotic destinations, world-class spas and fitness centers, and inspired cuisine. Each brand, from luxury to moderately priced, will be more upscale and attuned to customer needs than ever before.

Our At Your Service

This excerpt taken from the MAR 10-K filed Feb 21, 2007.

Competition

We encounter strong competition both as a lodging operator and as a franchisor. We believe that by operating a number of hotels among our brands, we stay in direct touch with customers and react to changes in the marketplace more quickly than chains that rely exclusively on franchising. There are approximately 676 lodging management companies in the United States, including several that operate more than 100 properties. These operators are primarily private management firms, but also include several large national chains that own and operate their own hotels and also franchise their brands. Our management contracts are typically long-term in nature, but most allow the hotel owner to replace the management firm if certain financial or performance criteria are not met.

Affiliation with a national or regional brand is prevalent in the U.S. lodging industry. In 2006, approximately two-thirds of U.S. hotel rooms were brand-affiliated. Most of the branded properties are franchises, under which the operator pays the franchisor a fee for use of its hotel name and reservation system. The franchising business is fairly concentrated, with the five largest franchisors operating multiple brands accounting for a significant proportion of all U.S. rooms.

Outside the United States, branding is much less prevalent, and most markets are served primarily by independent operators, although branding is more common for new hotel development. We believe that chain affiliation will increase in overseas markets as local economies grow, trade barriers are reduced, international travel accelerates and hotel owners seek the economies of centralized reservation systems and marketing programs.

Based on lodging industry data, we have an 8.8 percent share of the U.S. hotel market (based on number of rooms), and we estimate less than a 1 percent share of the lodging market outside the United States. We believe that our hotel brands are attractive to hotel owners seeking a management company or franchise affiliation because our

 

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hotels typically generate higher occupancies and Revenue per Available Room (“RevPAR”) than direct competitors in most market areas. We attribute this performance premium to our success in achieving and maintaining strong customer preference. We believe that the location and quality of our lodging facilities, our marketing programs, our reservation systems and our emphasis on guest service and satisfaction are contributing factors across all of our brands.

Properties that we operate or franchise are regularly upgraded to maintain their competitiveness. Most of our management agreements provide for the allocation of funds, generally a fixed percentage of revenue, for periodic renovation of buildings and replacement of furnishings. These ongoing refurbishment programs, along with periodic brand initiatives, are generally adequate to preserve or enhance the competitive position and earning power of the hotels and timeshare properties.

While service excellence is Marriott’s hallmark, we continually look for new ways to delight our guests. Currently, we are focused on elevating the Marriott experience beyond that of a traditional hotel stay to a total guest experience that encompasses exceptional style, personal luxury and superior service. This approach to hospitality, “The New Look and Feel of Marriott Now,” is influenced by the world’s foremost innovations in design, technology, culinary expertise, service and comfort. This evolution can be seen across all of our brands, in new and stylish hotel designs, luxurious bedding, exotic destinations, world-class spas and fitness centers and inspired cuisine. Each brand, luxury or moderately priced, will be more upscale and attuned to customer needs than ever before.

Our At Your Service

This excerpt taken from the MAR 10-K filed Feb 22, 2006.

Competition

 

We encounter strong competition both as a lodging operator and as a franchisor. We believe that by operating a number of hotels among our brands, we stay in direct touch with customers and react to changes in the marketplace more quickly than chains that rely exclusively on franchising. There are approximately 615 lodging management companies in the United States, including several that operate more than 100 properties. These operators are primarily private management firms, but also include several large national chains that own and operate their own hotels and also franchise their brands. Our management contracts are typically long-term in nature, but most allow the hotel owner to replace the management firm if certain financial or performance criteria are not met.

 

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Affiliation with a national or regional brand is prevalent in the U.S. lodging industry. In 2005, approximately two-thirds of U.S. hotel rooms were brand-affiliated. Most of the branded properties are franchises, under which the operator pays the franchisor a fee for use of its hotel name and reservation system. The franchising business is fairly concentrated, with the five largest franchisors operating multiple brands accounting for a significant proportion of all U.S. rooms.

 

Outside the United States, branding is much less prevalent, and most markets are served primarily by independent operators, although branding is more common for new hotel development. We believe that chain affiliation will increase in overseas markets as local economies grow, trade barriers are reduced, international travel accelerates and hotel owners seek the economies of centralized reservation systems and marketing programs.

 

Based on lodging industry data, we have an 8.5 percent share of the U.S. hotel market (based on number of rooms), and less than a 1 percent share of the lodging market outside the United States. We believe that our hotel brands are attractive to hotel owners seeking a management company or franchise affiliation because our hotels typically generate higher occupancies and Revenue per Available Room (“RevPAR”) than direct competitors in most market areas. We attribute this performance premium to our success in achieving and maintaining strong customer preference. We believe that the location and quality of our lodging facilities, our marketing programs, our reservation systems and our emphasis on guest service and satisfaction are contributing factors across all of our brands.

 

Properties that we operate or franchise are regularly upgraded to maintain their competitiveness. Our management, lease and franchise agreements provide for the allocation of funds, generally a fixed percentage of revenue, for periodic renovation of buildings and replacement of furnishings. We believe that these ongoing refurbishment programs are generally adequate to preserve the competitive position and earning power of the hotels and timeshare properties.

 

While service excellence is Marriott’s hallmark, we continually look for new ways to delight our guests. Currently, we are focused on elevating the Marriott experience beyond that of a traditional hotel stay to a total guest experience that encompasses exceptional style, personal luxury and superior service. This approach to hospitality, “The New Look and Feel of Marriott Now,” is influenced by the world’s foremost innovations in design, technology, culinary expertise, service and comfort. This evolution can be seen across all of our brands, in new and stylish hotel designs, luxurious bedding, exotic destinations, world-class spas and fitness centers and inspired cuisine. Each brand, luxury or moderately priced, will be more upscale and attuned to customer needs than ever before.

 

In early 2005, we launched Marriott’s At Your Service® program which focuses on the total guest experience from point of reservation to check-out. As part of the pre-arrival planning service, guests receive a personalized e-mail prior to check-in that includes local transportation, weather and restaurant information, as well as directions and maps. At a growing number of hotels and resorts, the service has been expanded as a “virtual concierge.” Guests are able to reserve spa treatments, room service for delivery upon arrival, and other amenities specific to each property. Guests may also request complimentary amenities that each property offers, such as extra pillows, miniature refrigerators and early check-in/late check-out.

 

Later in 2005 we also streamlined the travel planning and booking process with the addition of Marriott Flexrez to At Your Service. In addition to booking hotel rooms on Marriott.com, our online customers can now find competitive airfare and car rental rates as well.

 

The vacation ownership industry is one of the fastest growing segments in hospitality and is comprised of a number of highly competitive companies including several branded hotel companies. Since entering the timeshare industry in 1984, we have become a recognized leader in vacation ownership worldwide. Competition in the timeshare, fractional ownership and whole ownership business is based primarily on the quality and location of timeshare resorts, trust in the brand, the pricing of product offerings and the availability of program benefits, such as exchange programs. We believe that our focus on offering distinct vacation experiences, combined with our financial strength, diverse market presence, strong brands and well-maintained properties, will enable us to remain competitive. Approximately 37 percent of our timeshare ownership resort sales come from additional purchases by or referrals from existing owners.

 

Marriott Rewards is a frequent guest program with over 23 million members and nine participating Marriott brands. The Marriott Rewards program yields repeat guest business by rewarding frequent stays with points toward free hotel stays and other rewards, or airline miles with any of 27 participating airline programs. We believe that Marriott Rewards generates substantial repeat business that might otherwise go to competing hotels. In 2005, over 45 percent of our room nights were purchased by Marriott Rewards members. In addition, the ability of Marriott Vacation Club International timeshare owners to convert unused intervals into Marriott Rewards points enhances the competitive position of our timeshare brand.

 

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This excerpt taken from the MAR 10-K filed Feb 23, 2005.

Competition

 

We encounter strong competition both as a lodging operator and as a franchisor. There are approximately 675 lodging management companies in the United States, including several that operate more than 100 properties. These operators are primarily private management firms, but also include several large national chains that own and operate their own hotels and also franchise their brands. Management contracts are typically long-term in nature, but most allow the hotel owner to replace the management firm if certain financial or performance criteria are not met.

 

Affiliation with a national or regional brand is prevalent in the U.S. lodging industry. In 2004, approximately two-thirds of U.S. hotel rooms were brand-affiliated. Most of the branded properties are franchises, under which the operator pays the franchisor a fee for use of its hotel name and reservation system. The franchising business is fairly concentrated, with the three largest franchisors operating multiple brands accounting for a significant proportion of all U.S. rooms.

 

Outside the United States, branding is much less prevalent, and most markets are served primarily by independent operators, although branding is more common for new hotel development. We believe that chain affiliation will increase in overseas markets as local economies grow, trade barriers are reduced, international travel accelerates and hotel owners seek the economies of centralized reservation systems and marketing programs.

 

Based on lodging industry data, we have less than an 8.4 percent share of the U.S. hotel market (based on number of rooms), and less than a 1 percent share of the lodging market outside the United States. We believe that our hotel

 

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brands are attractive to hotel owners seeking a management company or franchise affiliation because our hotels typically generate higher occupancies and Revenue per Available Room (REVPAR) than direct competitors in most market areas. We attribute this performance premium to our success in achieving and maintaining strong customer preference. Approximately 34 percent of our timeshare ownership resort sales come from additional purchases by or referrals from existing owners. We believe that the location and quality of our lodging facilities, our marketing programs, our reservation systems and our emphasis on guest service and satisfaction are contributing factors across all of our brands.

 

Properties that we operate or franchise are regularly upgraded to maintain their competitiveness. Our management, lease and franchise agreements provide for the allocation of funds, generally a fixed percentage of revenue, for periodic renovation of buildings and replacement of furnishings. We believe that these ongoing refurbishment programs are adequate to preserve the competitive position and earning power of the hotels and timeshare properties. While service excellence is Marriott’s hallmark, we continually look for new ways to delight our guests. Currently, we are focused on elevating the Marriott experience beyond that of a traditional hotel stay to a total guest experience that encompasses exceptional style, personal luxury and superior service. This approach to hospitality, “The New Look and Feel of Marriott Now,” is influenced by the world’s foremost innovations in design, technology, culinary expertise, service and comfort.

 

This evolution can begin to be seen across all of our brands, in new hotel designs, exotic destinations, enhanced fitness centers, sumptuous spas and expanded culinary offerings. Each brand, whether luxury or moderately priced, will be more upscale and attuned to customer needs than ever before. We believe that by operating a number of hotels among our brands, we stay in direct touch with customers and react to changes in the marketplace more quickly than chains that rely exclusively on franchising.

 

The vacation ownership industry is one of the fastest growing segments in hospitality and is comprised of a number of highly competitive companies including several branded hotel companies. Since entering the timeshare industry in 1984, we have become a recognized leader in vacation ownership worldwide. Competition in the timeshare business is based primarily on the quality and location of timeshare resorts, the pricing of timeshare intervals and the availability of program benefits, such as exchange programs. We believe that our focus on offering distinct vacation experiences, combined with our financial strength, diverse market presence, strong brands and well-maintained properties, will enable us to remain competitive.

 

Marriott Rewards is a frequent guest program with over 21 million members and nine participating Marriott brands. The Marriott Rewards program yields repeat guest business by rewarding frequent stays with points toward free hotel stays and other rewards, or airline miles with any of 26 participating airline programs. We believe that Marriott Rewards generates substantial repeat business that might otherwise go to competing hotels. In 2004, approximately 40 percent of our room nights were purchased by Marriott Rewards members. In addition, the ability of Marriott Vacation Club International timeshare owners to convert unused intervals into Marriott Rewards points enhances the competitive position of our timeshare brand.

 

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