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June 19, 2012

Marriott, OPIC to support sustainable hotel development

Marriott International and the US state development finance institution Overseas Private Investment (OPIC) have teamed up to support new environmentally sustainable hotel developments in growth markets in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

By Srivani Venna

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Marriott International and the US state development finance institution Overseas Private Investment (OPIC) have teamed up to support new environmentally sustainable hotel developments in growth markets in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the RIO+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and said that the partnership demonstrates their shared commitment to the environment and investment in emerging economies.

The partnership will concentrate on sustainable hotel development in emerging markets where limited water and energy resources are available, and will generate millions of dollars in OPIC financing for Marriott hotel projects internationally.

OPIC will make long-term loans to third-party owners of the hotels, design a streamlined loan approval process and loan terms that can be altered to local conditions and regulations.

Marriott will provide hotel management or franchising services under separate agreements. The hotel group said that OPIC financing is expected to reach up to $200m in total.

OPIC president and chief executive officer Elizabeth Littlefield said renewable resources are one of OPIC’s major priority sectors.

"We hope this partnership serves as a model for future energy-efficient hotel development in emerging markets."

"We hope this partnership serves as a model for future energy-efficient hotel development in emerging markets," Littlefield added.

According to regular OPIC due diligence procedures, each hotel project will be assessed on its own merits, after which an approval will be given.

The loans will enable hotel owners to fund projects across 14 lodging brands of Marriott, including Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard and Fairfield.

The hotels will be built to sustainable standards, including the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) programme, where available, or according to other global or regional specifications.


Image: The OPIC-Marriott partnership looks into sustainable hotel development in emerging growth markets, where limited water and energy resources are available. Photo: Marriott International/OPIC

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