Investing in Scotland’s tourism sector

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is currently on a visit to the US. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is currently on a visit to the US. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed plans by Marriott International, which will see them open seven new hotels in Scotland and grow room count by almost 75 per cent.

The First Minister will meet Kevin Montano, Senior Vice President and Global Development Officer for Marriott International and Sarah Doyle, Director, Global Brand Management for W Hotels Worldwide, while visiting New York, as the hotel company announce their intention to grow in Scotland over the next four years due to their confidence in Scotland’s strong economy and tourism sectors.

The highest profile hotel opening will be W Edinburgh, and the First Minister will receive a tour of Starlab, Marriott’s Design & Innovation Studio, which combines teams from digital, luxury, marketing, and design to cross-collaborate and ‘test’ new technologies, such as keyless room entry, of which W Hotels was a pioneer. She will also be briefed on plans to more than triple the Moxy Hotels portfolio in Scotland, going from one to four hotels in the next two years.

Speaking ahead of the visit, the First Minister said: “Despite the uncertainty brought about by Brexit, Scotland’s economy and tourism sectors remain strong and I am delighted that big businesses like Marriott International are choosing to show their confidence by investing here.

“Scotland’s performance in hotel markets is exceptionally strong with latest figures showing that we are outperforming 11 of the main 12 European hotel markets, including Paris, Madrid and Berlin - only London was higher.

Kevin Montano, Senior Vice President and Global Development Officer for Marriott International said: “With seven hotels across five Marriott brands (W Hotels, Moxy, Aloft, Courtyard and Residence Inn) scheduled to open within the next four years, we remain optimistic for the future growth of our company and hospitality overall in Scotland”.

Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive, Dr Lena Wilson, said: “Scottish Enterprise is delighted to have supported Marriott’s expansion in Scotland. Scotland has a thriving tourism industry and is a key economic sector attracting substantial inward investment, so Marriott’s decision to increase its presence in Scotland by 2021 demonstrates their competitiveness in the sector and their commitment to Scotland. We look forward to continuing working with the Marriott leadership team going forward.”