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Ritz-Carlton Is Coming to Wherever You (and the Chinese) Want to Be

SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- Ritz-Carlton is embarking on an ambitious expansion of properties over the next three years that will bring its total portfolio to 100 hotels worldwide in ever more exotic locations as it seeks to capitalize on luxury travel trends.

The expansion, announced last week, involves approximately 20 new properties by 2016, including six hotels scheduled to open by the last quarter of this year. Openings are scheduled for locations including Bali, Morocco and three sites in China.

"This is part of our strategic growth plan and is also based on our desire to be where our guests travel," says Ritz-Carlton's global officer of worldwide operations, Bob Kharazmi.

During a telephone interview about the expansion, Kharazmi explained that the hotel chain uses a variety of input to identify locations for future properties, including surveys, customer comments, studies of luxury trends and meetings with business partners who book substantial amounts of business with Ritz-Carlton.

The emerging travel habits of the Chinese are also playing a role.

"If you look into the travel patterns of the Chinese out of China, it is growing rapidly. Travel out of China will hit 100 million travelers by 2020, so we are always interested to know where they are going, and that becomes a road map for us," Kharazmi adds.

Among the exciting locations coming for the luxury hotel chain is Tamuda Bay, just a few miles outside of Tangier, Morocco, scheduled to open in 2015. The chain is also opening a property in Marrakech in 2016.