by Loren G. Edelstein | December 06, 2016

During the International Luxury Travel Market in Cannes, France, yesterday, Marriott International announced the launch of the Marriott International Luxury Brands group. Under that umbrella are the St. Regis, Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, Edition and JW Marriott brands. Marriott International is scheduled to open nearly 30 luxury hotels in 2017 and has a total of 180 such properties in its development pipeline, representing 20 new countries, from Iceland and Nepal to Cuba.

"Spanning the world from the most iconic hot spots to the ultimate undiscovered gems, the unmatched breadth and depth of our luxury portfolio uniquely positions us to cater to the increased demand of the rapidly expanding cadre of affluent travelers," said Tina Edmundson, the company's global brand officer. "With luxury travel up nearly 50 percent over the past five years, we see a long runway for growth at the high end and have a world-class, dedicated luxury structure in place to nurture and strengthen this coveted portfolio of eight diverse luxury brands."

Among news within the eight luxury brands:

• Ritz-Carlton, with 92 hotels around the world, will debut four new properties in 2017, including the Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi, off the coast of Malaysia, and the Ritz-Carlton, Astana, in Kazakhstan. 

• St. Regis, with 38 hotels today and 21 in the pipeline, unveiled the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort in early November and will debut in five destinations in 2017, including two in China (Shanghai and Changsha) and one in Cairo, Egypt.

• W Hotels recently opened the W Punta de Mita, north of Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. The W Las Vegas, which debuted last week, is the 50th hotel for the brand. W Goa, in coastal India, is set to open on Dec. 12, and another 33 hotels are in the pipeline. Six are expected to open in 2017, including properties in Tel Aviv, Israel; Panama City, Panama; and Shanghai, China.

• Edition, a luxury-lifestyle brand with hotels in London, New York and Miami Beach, most recently opened the Sanya Edition on Hainan Island in Southern China, the brand's first hotel in Asia, and will open properties in Bangkok, Thailand, and Barcelona, Spain, by the end of 2017.

• The Luxury Collection, an ensemble of 102 hotels in more than 30 countries, is poised for rapid expansion. The Hotel Inglaterra in Havana will join the brand in 2017 after a complete renovation. The Luxury Collection is set to debut in nine destinations next year, including California's Napa Valley, Singapore and Panama City.

• JW Marriott now has 79 hotels and resorts in 27 countries, including the recent openings of the JW Marriott Venice in Italy and JW Marriott Los Cabos in Mexico. Set to open in 2017 are the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa in Vietnam, and the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver in British Columbia.