BETHESDA, Md., April 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Heralding a "golden age of travel," Marriott International (NYSE: MAR) plans to double the number of hotels in the Caribbean and Latin America within the next five years. Arne Sorenson, the new CEO of Marriott International, will make the announcement today at the Americas CEO Summit in Cartagena, Colombia, adding that the number of jobs at Marriott hotels in the region is expected to increase from 13,000 to 27,000 by the end of 2017. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120413/PH87377) The company also said it expects to double its presence in Colombia with the additions of Marriott hotels in both Cartagena and Cali. This year's hotel openings in the region showcase the company's broad portfolio of top brands, including the first Ritz-Carlton Reserve in the Americas at Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico to the JW Marriott in Cusco, Peru and the Courtyard by Marriott at Mexico City Airport. Currently, Marriott has 35 hotels signed and under development in the Caribbean and Latin America. These include The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, The Ritz-Carlton, Panama City ( Panama), JW Marriott Cusco ( Peru), Port-au-Prince Marriott Hotel ( Haiti) and the Renaissance Santiago ( Chile). By 2017, Marriott envisions its portfolio in the region rising to over 140 hotels and 30,000 rooms either opened or in the development pipeline. Today, Marriott International is represented with 69 hotels in 25 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. Nine of Marriott's 18 brands are currently represented in the region: The Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott (luxury); Marriott Hotels & Resorts (upscale); Renaissance Hotels and Autograph Collection (lifestyle); Courtyard by Marriott (upper moderate); Marriott Executive Apartments and Residence Inn by Marriott (extended stay); and Fairfield by Marriott (moderate). " Latin America is booming, in terms of economic growth and political and institutional stability, which is creating a promising business climate," said Mr. Sorenson, whose title is president and CEO. "The rising middle class throughout the region is eager to travel to new places and do business on the road. Worldwide, we're seeing a golden age of travel, and Latin America is at the forefront. This, when combined with the strong performance and preference of our brands in the gateway markets, provides tremendous opportunity for Marriott's world class brands and service." "This is an exciting time for hotel development in Latin America; the growing regional demand and broadening market, combined with the lack of consistent domestic hotel product and service, represents a large opportunity to develop upscale branded hotels as well as multi-unit moderate tier development platforms with local partners in the region," said Laurent De Kousemaeker, chief development officer, Caribbean and Latin American Region, for Marriott International. Note: The statements about the numbers of new hotels and rooms we expect to add by 2017 are "forward looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including the continuation and pace of the economic recovery; supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth and refurbishment; and other risk factors identified in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statement. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.