Marriott International, Inc. is an international company operating in the hospitality and lodging industry. The companys headquarters are in Bethesda, Maryland. It manages and franchises a large number of hotels and other lodging facilities. The company has managed to deliver a great performance that has set the bar for other companies operating in the same industry. Undoubtedly, Marriott is an international hotel power as highlighted by its long history as well as excellent performance in the industry in 2014.
History of Marriott
The history of Marriott International, Inc. dates back to the late 1920s according to Bill Marriot (2013). The company was founded by John Willard Marriott in 1927 together with his wife Alice Marriott. It started as a root beer stand in Washington DC. The Marriotts became more ambitious and established their first restaurant The Hot Shoppe. In 1928, the business continued to thrive leading the Marriotts to open yet a third restaurant. The following year, the Marriotts incorporated the restaurant as Hot Shoppes, Inc. It is this companys evolution and growth that led to the establishment of many other top class restaurants and hotels. One such hotel is the Twin Bridges Motor Hotel that was opened in 1957. Marriott (2013) states that the company entered the lodging business in the 1950s and launched new lodging brands in the 1980s. The leadership of the restaurant has always been a family affair beginning with the founder J.W. Marriott. He handed over the reins to his son J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr. according to Marriott (2013). He became the head of the company in 1964 until 2012 when he made history by handing the leadership of the company to someone outside the family. The new CEO is Arne Sorenson while Bill Marriott currently holds the position of Executive Chairman. Sorenson also contributes to the success of the company as he leads it to reaching much greater heights. Currently Marriott is considered as the largest and longest operating hotel chain in the world with over 3000 hotels globally (Marriott, 2013). The company has evolved over time with its service delivery to clients. Its mission is to shape the travel experience through the use of technology and innovation. It is also significant to note that in the last decades the company has acquired a number of establishments in the hotel and lodging industry. Marriott (2013) explains that its most recent acquisition was made in 2012 when the international hotel company acquired Gaylord Hotels Brand. Currently, the company enjoys great success having evolved from the simple root beer stand established in 1927 to an international group of hotels and lodgings.
Current Performance as of 2014
The performance of Marriott International, Inc. as of 2014 can be described as record setting. The following is a discussion of some breakthroughs that have improved the companys performance in 2014 as explained by Marriott (2014). In the first place, the company was able to sign new agreements for over 650 hotels. This is considered to be the greatest number of deals signed in the companys history in a period of a year. These new agreements led to the increase of hotels under development to a figure of 1400 properties and 240000 rooms pushing the company closer to its target of 1 million rooms (Marriott, 2014). Secondly, the companys performance in 2014 was further elevated by opening of its 4000th hotel in Washington DC. Thirdly, the companys financial performance in 2014 was also quite impressive. In the report, Marriott (2014) indicates that the companys global revenue per available room rose by 6.6 percent while its average daily rates rose by 3.7 percent, which indicates strong demand across its systems. In addition, in 2014, the company signed contracts amounting to the value of more than $2.5 million, which represents an increase by 6.5 percent (Marriott, 2014). The hotels profit margins also improved this year by 1.2 percent. The shareholders benefited from the excellent financial performance by receiving a return of $1.75 billion in form of dividends and share repurchases (Marriott, 2014). The company also made some acquisitions, which enabled it to set up root in new establishments. For instance, the company acquired Protea Hotels, which made it possible for Marriott to present itself in Africa. This outstanding performance by Marriott has not gone unnoticed. On the contrary, the company has been the beneficiary of several awards such as Worlds Most Admired Companies by Fortune as the number one hospitality company and Worlds Most Innovative Companies by Forbes being ranked the highest. Overall, it was a good year for the giant hotel and lodging company.
Reasons and Strategies of the Success of Marriott
Marriott International, Inc. has established its enterprises as world class hotels and lodgings and emerged as a market leader in its industry. There are several reasons and strategies that have contributed to the companys success. One such reason is the companys strong and brilliant leadership. J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Jr. has been the CEO of the company since 1964. His inspiring leadership style and excellent interpersonal skills have made the company undergo spectacular global growth. This form of leadership has been spread throughout the leadership structure of the company. Another reason why the company has continued to thrive is its pre-occupation with searching for new ways of serving its customers as affirmed by Marriott (2013). The company is constantly coming up with ideas to improve the experience of its customers. For this reason, it carefully assesses the feedback it receives from customers and has invested in research and development with the aim of identifying the specific needs of its customers. Further, the companys core values can also be attributed to its excellent performance. Marriott International, Inc. business operations are based on five main values. The first one is placing the customer first. Due to it, there has been an increase in the number of people visiting the companys facilities. It makes the customers feel that they are cared about and thus they are always willing to return. The second value is pursuing excellence. This value has been deeply ingrained in the companys staff. Thus, each member strives to perform their duties in the most excellent way. This is a factor that has enabled the company to provide good service its customers. The third value is embracing change. This has facilitated the companys growth and progress as change has enabled it to provide fresh ideas for its large business portfolio. The companys fourth value is to act with integrity. This has contributed to customers perception of the company as honest and trustworthy which has increased its guest rate in its various facilities. The final value is serving the world. As a company, Marriott does not strive for benefiting itself alone. Rather, it has established programs to help the people in the areas where it conducts business with the sole aim of improving the lives of these people.
A key strategy that Marriott has applied to achieve success is cultivation of a culture of team work and collaboration. Many of its stakeholders, especially employees, carefully follow this strategy. This has improved productivity at work and enabled the staff to bring together their ideas that further enhances the companys performance. Another strategy that has fostered its success in the hotel and lodging industry is an adaptation of recent technology and innovations. As discussed earlier, the company received an award from Forbes as the Worlds Most Innovative Company. It evidences the level of innovation of its facilities and services provided. Marriotts strategy of making the company family based business has provided a sense of continuity, further promoting its success. Marriott (2013) opines that it causes the companys stakeholders to perceive the company as somewhat possessing a sense of accountability. What is more, it has transformed the company into being more personalized.
Since its establishment in 1927, Marriott has presented itself as a high performing business. The company, which prides itself on being the worlds favorite travel company, has managed to become a market leader and a force to reckon with in the hotel and lodging industry. It has embraced change as in the case of changing its CEO by appointing an outsider. This will act to help the company rise further to new heights.