Hotel group Marriott International has announced it will be pulling out of the Russian market. The hotel chain had already moved to close its corporate office in Moscow and pause expansion in the country. New sanctions have made operation impossible, however, the company says. Marriott has operated in Russia for 25 years.
In a statement the company said:
The conflict in Ukraine, now stretching into the fourth month of fighting and displacement, has had grave humanitarian, socioeconomic and global impacts. Throughout this challenging period, Marriott has kept the safety and wellbeing of our associates and guests top of mind.
Since the start of the war, we have remained in regular contact with our teams on the ground as we continued to evaluate our ability to operate in this changing legal and geopolitical landscape. On March 10, we shared our decision to close our corporate office in Moscow and pause the opening of upcoming hotels and all future hotel development and investment in Russia.
We have come to the view that newly announced US, UK and EU restrictions will make it impossible for Marriott to continue to operate or franchise hotels in the Russian market. We have therefore made the decision to suspend all Marriott International operations in Russia. The process to suspend operations in a market where Marriott has operated for 25 years is complex.
As we take steps to suspend hotel operations in Russia, we remain focused on taking care of our Russia-based associates. Since the war began, we have supported associates in Ukraine, Russia and across the region, including securing employment with Marriott outside of countries directly affected by the conflict. We have deployed $1 million in internal disaster relief funds for associates and their families to assist with resettlement aid, including food vouchers, transportation assistance, medical, and legal support.
In addition, over 85 of our hotels are now providing lodging to refugees from Ukraine in neighboring countries. We have provided over $2.7 million in hotel-level financial, fundraising, and in-kind support, including food and supply donations, to relief organizations operating on the ground. Marriott is focused on hiring refugees, with more than 250 already hired across more than 40 hotels in 15 European countries, with plans to continue. We will also match Marriott Bonvoy points donations to World Central Kitchen and UNICEF, up to 100 million points this year, with over 50 million points donated to date.
We continue to join our associates and millions of people around the world in wishing for an end to the current violence and the start of a path towards peace.