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XX. Read and translate a newspaper article.

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A question of better quality. Profile: Mariott.

The MARIOTT hotel chain has one of the most comprehensive range of hotel grades and locations.

Mariott was formed more than 60 years ago when Willard and Alice Mariott opened a nine-seat root beer stand called the Hot Shoppe in Washington DC.

There are Mariott hotels in all 50 US states and some 24 countries worldwide —v including Warsaw, which recently saw the opening of Mariott's 500th hotel.

Mariott has hotels in all market segments — it has pioneered the way in the budget hotel sector, and is involved in airport and other restaurant catering operations.

Mariott hotels are located in downtown, suburban, airport and resort sites in both the US and overseas. While most of the hotels are managed directly by the company, some are franchised in the US.

Mariott is addressing its quality problems with a new programme to ensure consistency of services, especially to business customers. It believes it has a marketing edge with its frequent traveller programme, introduced five years ago and subsequently upgraded. This enables frequent travellers to gain extra room nights free, and offers a wide range of other benefits.

The international hotels tend to be of a higher standard and Mariott has earmarked Europe as a large area for expansion. Mariott recently concluded a joint venture with a Japanese development company to acquire and develop up to nine Mariott hotels in Europe at a cost of $400 m.

Mariott's policy of segmenting the hotel market has led it into several acquisitions. Among these was the purchase of Residence Inn.

Fairfield Inn was Mariott's entry into the economy sector in 1987.

Each hotel typically has 130 rooms. Mariott's Courtyard hotels were the first of the new mid-price hotels in the US without all the extra facilities associated with up-market hotels.

Mariott has more than 180 Courtyard hotels either open or under construction in the US.

(adaptedfrom the "Financial Times")


Answer the questions:

What range of hotel grades and locations does the Mariott chain have? Why?

Where are Mariott hotels located?

How does the frequent traveller programme enable the Mariott chain to compete successfully?

Why did the chain earmark Europe for further expansion?

What is their policy aimed at?

What are the advantages of the new mid-price hotels?

Give a summary of the information you've learned from the article.

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