November 29, 2018 / 3:34 PM / 20 days ago

Marriott to open nearly 30 business hotels in Europe in two years

FILE PHOTO: A Marriott flag hangs at the entrance of the New York Marriott Downtown hotel in Manhattan, New York November 16, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) - U.S. hotel chain Marriott International Inc (MAR.O) said on Thursday it plans to open nearly 30 Courtyard by Marriott hotels in Europe in the next two years, as it targets newer markets including Finland and Iceland.

The expansion plan comes nearly a month after the company cut its fourth-quarter forecast for revenue per available room (RevPAR) - a key measure of hotel health - blaming weak demand in North America, its biggest market.

The company’s RevPAR for Europe grew 5.7 percent for the first nine months of 2018, while North America grew 2 percent in the same period.

Courtyard currently operates 63 hotels across Europe aimed at business travelers, the company said in a statement.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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