by Will Chin | June 11, 2019
Marriott Marquis Shanghai.
The global MICE industry is showing no signs of stopping. In 2017, the industry size was US$805 billion and, by 2025, it is expected to hit US$1.4 trillion. And with so many more MICE activities expected to happen within the next decade or so, hotel brands are already laying the ground works for more accommodations across various markets, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Last week, both Marriott International and Accor were excited to announce new and upcoming properties.

Expansion announcements
Let's begin with Marriott International. Late last week, the brand announced strong growth of its Asia Pacific luxury portfolio with 13 new luxury properties projected to open in 2019. This is on top of Marriott International's current portfolio of 130 luxury hotels across 10 countries and territories in Asia Pacific. The new properties include JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, and The Luxury Collection.

Peggy Fang Roe, chief sales & marketing officer, Asia Pacific, Marriott International, commented, "Asia Pacific's luxury travel industry is one of the fastest-growing in the world, driven by markets like China and India. On top of this, global luxury travellers today are seeking more than just the opportunity to indulge, they want experiences that deliver personal meaning and significance. In response, Marriott International continues to grow its footprint and experiential offerings in Asia Pacific, providing highly contextualised and carefully curated experiences, allowing luxury travellers to explore their passions and grow on a personal level."

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Sofitel Beijing Central.

Elsewhere, Accor also hit a new milestone last week. With the launch of Sofitel Beijing Central, Accor now has 1,100 hotels in the Asia Pacific region, bringing the group's APAC network to more than 210,000 rooms. This announcement came just six months after Accor celebrated its 1,000th hotel. In fact, Asia now represents 50% of the group's global growth.

"We have had a record six months since announcing our 1,000th hotel with the Pullman Tokyo Tamachi late last year and it's incredible to think that we have added another 100 hotels already since then," said Michael Issenberg, chairman & CEO, Accor Asia Pacific. "Sofitel Beijing Central will be a great addition to our network in China and will become one of the premier luxury hotels in the city."

Sofitel Beijing Central, in particular, offers 345 rooms, three impressing dining outlets, as well as 1,500sqm of event space, including nine flexible meeting rooms for up to 400 delegates.

More than just numbers
However, more than the number of hotels launched within a specific time, Marriott International was eager to share the one thing that connects all its properties: its recently unveiled travel programme, Marriott Bonvoy.

Aside from the 13 new luxury properties slated for 2019, Marriott Bonvoy will allow members to pursue their passions while travelling or during a staycation, alongside various benefits and rewards. In Asia Pacific alone, members can dine and earn at over 2,800 participating restaurants and bars and earn points for spa treatments at over 210 participating spas in the region, even without a stay.