Marriott International announced plans yesterday to open 21 new hotels in Asia in the next four years, 15 of them on the mainland. The newly signed management contracts bring the US-based hotelier's total number of properties under development in the region to 58, representing more than 16,000 new rooms expected to open by 2013. Marriott's latest expansion focuses heavily on the mainland, where it is rolling out 15 new properties under the JW Marriott, Marriott, Renaissance and Courtyard brands in eight cities, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Dalian and Sanya. Executives said business and corporate travel appeared to be recovering from the troughs seen late last year and earlier this year as regional economies began to emerge from recession. 'We do see a strong Asia market out there today,' Marriott president and managing director of international lodging Ed Fuller told reporters yesterday. 'It has come back in volume.' Executives said the developers financing and building the hotels Marriott has contracted to manage haven't struggled as much in China as in other emerging markets, such as Africa and the Middle East. Beijing's 4 trillion yuan stimulus (HK$4.54 trillion) package and record bank lending of 1.23 trillion yuan per month during the first half of the year have helped keep the majority of hotel projects on track despite the year-old financial crisis. 'The government is obviously pumping a significant amount of liquidity into the system,' said Paul Foskey, executive vice-president for hotel development in the Asia-Pacific. 'We've benefited from that ... We haven't seen much of a slowdown at all in China.' Following the expansion, which includes its first property in Cambodia, Marriott plans to have 154 hotels with 51,500 rooms across 18 countries in Asia in operation by 2013.