Conceptually, Marriott believes that the same guest falls into a different customer profile depending on the nature of the trip taken. Marriott has a product for every price point chain-scale (as defined by Smith Travel Research) except for the lowest economy segment. The companys commitment to quality and steady brand building has resulted in a strong brand portfolio of hotels, vacation ownership and corporate housing brands that associate quality, dependability, integrity and trust with the companys services. In 2005, Fortune Magazine recognized Marriott as the most admired company in the lodging industry for the sixth consecutive year. The companys strong brand name and its unique brand strategy help the company to stay ahead of its peers.
Thought Leadership in Technology-Enabled Services
The companys increased focus on technology is also paying off, as Marriott bolsters its web-based services portfolio. The companys reservation and yield management systems have outperformed the industry for many years. Marriott has the largest, fastest, most user-friendly web site in the industry, Marriott.com, which attracts almost six million visitors every month. Furthermore, the company is able to provide the industrys lowest cost per reservation and lands cross selling opportunities that bring almost $400 million worth of annual revenue. Customer demand for technology is rising as well, and the company is responding to this demand. With high-speed internet access in virtually all its hotels, and nearly 2000 hotels offering Wi-Fi, Marriott leads the industry in keeping its customers connected.
Over dependence on the U.S. market
One of the key weaknesses of the group has been its over dependence on the U.S. market. The U.S. region accounted for around 90.4% of the groups total revenues. This over dependence has hurt the group severely, especially at time of slow economy.
Furthermore, the company has only a tiny presence in the vast growing Asian market. This lack of geographic spread in its revenues is a major weakness for the company.
Plagued by a large number of lawsuits
The company is involved in a large number of lawsuits with industry players such as CTF Hotel Holdings and others. These lawsuits claim issues related to breach of duties, mismanagement, unfair pricing and competitive practices and misrepresentation with respect to procurement issues involving the company.
Unstable relationships with owners and franchisees
Marriotts relations with owners and franchisees have been unstable at times. Since owners and franchisees provide the bulk of the investment capital for new Marriott unit growth, it is critical that the company maintains solid relations with these groups. Even by the companys managements own admission, its communications with owners and franchisees have not always facilitated a constructive dialogue. While owners and franchisees acknowledge that Marriott has done an impressive job of maintaining and investing in its brands, they say that the company is not always appropriately concerned about the needs of owners, franchisees, and even, in some cases, guests.
Though, according to the Marriott senior management, the company appears to have recognized the importance of maintaining productive and constructive relations with owners and franchisees, such unfavorable reputation gives the company a negative image among existing and future owners and franchisees. This could in turn affect the companys future growth prospects.
Expansion into China and India
Reports and research indicate that travel and tourism in India and China is expected to grow at twice the.