Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
BETHESDA, MD — There are exceptions – like Sandals and Beaches – but for many years all-inclusive resorts were never as popular with U.S. travellers as they were with Canadian and European travellers.
Now, seeing the success of Spain’s hotel companies in the Caribbean and Latin America, along with other competitors, U.S.-based hotel giant Marriott International has announced it will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in all-inclusive resort product.
The initiative includes new management contracts with hotel developers who plan to build five new all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Latin America, to the tune of US$800 million.
Marriott dipped its toe into all-inclusive waters with its Starwood Hotels & Resorts acquisition in 2016, when Marriott International assumed operations of its first all-inclusive property – the 406-room Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal in Costa Rica.
Now more than 2,000 rooms are in the works for the five new all-inclusive resorts, in the D.R. and Mexico. Here’s a list of the proposed resorts:
A 650-room Autograph Collection resort in Punta Cana (2022 anticipated opening)
NIA, Riviera Nayarit will include a 240-room The Ritz-Carlton resort (2023 anticipated opening); 400-room Westin Hotels resort (2023 anticipated opening); 300-room Autograph Collection resort (2025 anticipated opening); 500-room Marriott Hotels resort (2025 anticipated opening)
Marriott says NIA will serve as a flagship, all-inclusive destination with four of Marriott International’s premium and luxury brand experiences in Riviera Nayarit. The project is slated to rise on 220 tropical acres along the Pacific Coast.
Marriott says that seeing the growing demand for premium and luxury all-inclusive stays, the company plans to build its platform by initially leveraging the following full-service and luxury brands: The Ritz-Carlton, Luxury Collection, Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels, W Hotels, Autograph Collection and Delta by Marriott. Guests will get a ‘distinctive all-inclusive vacation experience’ – along with the design aesthetic, culinary offerings and amenities – specific to each brand, says the company.
All-inclusive resorts bearing the Marriott Hotels brand, for instance, would cater primarily to families, while resorts bearing the W Hotels brand would cater to adults.
The resorts are expected to open between 2022 and 2025.
“Our new all-inclusive resort platform is a natural progression for Marriott International,” says Tony Capuano, Marriott International’s Executive Vice President and Global Chief Development Officer. “It will provide the ownership community a game-changing value proposition for their luxury and premium resort projects around the world, while providing guests a new vacation option with brands they trust.”
Marriott International says it plans to further expand its all-inclusive portfolio in popular, leisure destinations worldwide with a mix of new-build properties and conversions of existing resorts, including properties currently in the Marriott International portfolio.