Both Marriott International Inc. and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. experienced significant growth in their hotel room footprints as travel continued to rebound in 2023 following the travel downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marriott, as the larger of the two hotel chains by market cap, reported a 4.7% increase in net rooms, reaching just under 1.6 million in 2023. The company’s development pipeline also saw impressive growth, jumping 15% to reach a record high of 573,000 rooms.
In the U.S. and Canada, Marriott achieved a record by signing 91,000 rooms, including 37,000 from its licensing agreement with MGM Resorts International. This success contributed to a 0.3% rise in Marriott’s stock during premarket trades on Monday.
Hilton also experienced positive growth, with its stock rising by 0.4% after announcing the opening of 132 hotels and 24,000 rooms in the fourth quarter. Hilton described this quarter as the strongest development period in its 99-year history.
Looking ahead to 2024, Hilton reiterated its net-unit-growth estimate of 5.5% to 6%, expressing confidence that it may even surpass the higher end of this range based on positive momentum in signings and construction starts. In 2023, Hilton successfully opened 395 hotels and approximately 63,000 rooms, reflecting a unit growth of 4.9%.
Hilton’s development pipeline witnessed significant growth, with signings of about 1,000 hotels representing 130,000 rooms—an impressive 45% increase from the previous year. Hilton’s development pipeline is now the largest in its history, with nearly 3,300 hotels and over 462,000 rooms.
As of December 31, Hilton had more than 7,500 properties in 126 countries and hosted a record-breaking number of travelers, surpassing 213 million.
Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide are capitalizing on the recovery of the travel industry by expanding their hotel room footprints in 2023. With Marriott reporting record-breaking net rooms and a robust development pipeline, and Hilton experiencing its strongest development quarter and a record-breaking development pipeline, both hotel chains are poised for continued success in the coming years.