Last updated: 01:15 PM ET, Wed February 17 2016

Marriott to Launch 'Fairfield by Marriott' Brand in China, Expand Rapidly

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | February 17, 2016

Marriott to Launch 'Fairfield by Marriott' Brand in China, Expand Rapidly

PHOTO:Cheng Xinhua (left), founder, president and chief executive officer of Eastern Crown Hotels Group and Paul Foskey, executive vice president, Hotel Development, Marriott International Asia Pacific (right). (Photo courtesy of Marriott International)

Marriott International is eyeing significant expansion in mainland China.

The company announced Wednesday that it has put pen to paper on a development agreement with Chinese lodging group Eastern Crown Hotels in a move that will bring Marriott's Fairfield by Marriott brand to the promising Asian market.

Under the agreement, Marriott and Eastern Crown hope to sign 140 hotels within the next five years, with more than 70 percent of those signings expected to open by 2021.

READ MORE: Marriott Partners With Alipay To Court Chinese Travelers

Each of the new Fairfield hotels will feature anywhere between 100 and 150 guestrooms.

Given the scale of Marriott's plans, the agreement signals a pivotal moment in the company's international expansion, particularly within China's midscale hotel segment. To this point, Marriott has introduced nine brands to mainland China and operates just 80 hotels in 25 different cities. 

"China is the fastest growing market in Asia for us. The rising disposable incomes of the middle class and development of the consumption-led economy is driving an increased demand for higher quality mid-range accommodation," President and Managing Director of Marriott International Asia Pacific Craig Smith said in a statement. 

READ MORE: Marriott Looks Back on Impressive 2015

Smith added that the brand will aim to attract younger guests and business travelers in search of comfort and value.

Fairfield by Marriott Vice President and Global Brand Manager Shruti Buckley said the Fairfield brand has gained popularity since being introduced to Asia two years ago. "Due to the fast growing global demand for quality mid-tier hotels, Fairfield currently has the largest development pipeline within Marriott International, positioning the brand as the fastest growing in the portfolio," Buckley said in a statement. 

As part of Marriott's agreement with Eastern Crown, members of the latter's loyalty program will be able to redeem their points for stays at more than 4,200 Marriott properties around the world. 

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