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Marriott Pondering Ski and Sea Resorts

Marriott International wants to enter the resort market, president Arne Sorenson said.

The company, which has 14 hotels in Russia, including The Ritz-Carlton Moscow, would like to open up seaside and ski resorts, Sorenson said in an interview with RIA-Novosti at the Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, late last week. He mentioned Sochi in particular as a location of interest.

Sorenson said a lack of accommodations in the middle price range was a serious problem for the Russian market. In addition, the country needs to raise its profile as a tourist destination. He characterized tourists in Russia as those with ties to the country, vacationers from Northern Europe who have easy access to the country and those interested in exotic travel.

The government needs to advertise the country's attractions the way the recently established Corporation for Travel Promotion does in the United States, Marriott International vice president Kathleen Matthews said. She also pointed out the Incredible India ad campaign as a model for tourism promotion.

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