Marriott and Ikea to launch European budget hotel chain

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Hotels company Marriott International has teamed up with Ikea's real estate arm to launch a new European hotel chain designed to attract younger travellers seeking style on a budget.

Cool and contemporary budget hotels such as Motel One, B&B Hotels and CitizenM are springing up all over Europe to meet demand from people who are keen to get away from it all despite squeezed leisure budgets.

Marriott said the economy tier in Europe represents nearly half of total room supply, but added there is space in the market for a branded chain.

"We see a huge opportunity to expand our market share in Europe with Moxy Hotels," Marriott's European head Amy McPherson said in a statement.

The first Moxy hotel is expected to open in Milan in early 2014 and Marriott said it was aiming for 150 of the hotels in Europe over the next 10 years in countries from Britain to Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Rooms at Moxy hotels will all feature flat-screen TVs, USB ports next to wall sockets and floor-to-ceiling wall art representing the local city.

Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson said the rooms are designed to appeal to people "with a younger sensibility, for whom contemporary style is paramount".

Inter Hospitality, a subsidiary of Ikea parent Inter Ikea, will be the initial developer and owner of the first Moxy Hotels, while Nordic Hospitality will be the first franchisee to operate the brand, Marriott said on Tuesday.

Inter Hospitality, which has been keen to expand in the budget hotels sector, said it wants to secure 50 sites over the next five years, mainly in Germany, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria.

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