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Fueling Our Growth
When the JW Marriott Hotel Beijing, designated our 3,000th hotel, opened this year, it symbolized the company's tremendous global growth, especially in Asia. Both the JW Marriott Hotel Beijing and The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing look forward to welcoming the world to China for the 2008 Olympic Games. We operate more than 30 hotels in China, and we expect to open another 24 through 2010. In India, we have six hotels and 18 more scheduled to open through 2010. In Thailand, we have nine hotels and 12 more in our pipeline.
In the Middle East, including Egypt, we operate or franchise 28 hotels, with more than 25 in the pipeline.
The company's worldwide pipeline of hotels under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development totals approximately 800 hotels and 125,000 rooms. More than 60 percent of our full-service pipeline is outside the United States. We expect to open 85,000 to 100,000 rooms from 2008 through 2010.
Our timeshare business continues to be a strong source of revenue across four brands, from traditional weekly vacation ownership to fractional ownership. As the number of affluent U.S. households continues to rise, Marriott expects growth in this category.
Customer loyalty remains high. Today, over 370,000 timeshare owners possess an average of 1.3 weeks. Eighty percent of those owners redeem their investments for a "Marriott experience" at one of our timeshare properties or Marriott-branded hotels, or exchange them for Marriott Rewards points.
We have entered the Asian timesharing market with our Asia Pacific points program, providing leisure travelers in that rapidly growing region with more vacation opportunities. In 2008, we expect contract sales at new properties to begin in Kauai, Hawaii; Orlando and Singer Island in Florida; and Lake Tahoe, Calif., where our Grand Residences by Marriott and Marriott's Timber Lodge® were both recently recognized by Condé Nast Traveler as among the top 50 ski hotels in North America.
Technology remains one of our strongest competitive advantages, especially when combined with our global distribution. Technology powers Marriott Rewards, our award-winning guest loyalty program with over 28 million members, and Marriott.com, one of the world's top 10 retail Web sites, with $5.2 billion in gross revenue, including referrals to its customer care group. Marriott.com is customized for nine countries, and is available on your PDA or Internet-enabled phone.
By the end of 2009, we project that nearly all of our hotels in the United States will have high-definition flat-screen TVs. Our unique plug-in panel, which is in 40,000 Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Renaissance rooms, enables guests to easily connect their iPods, digital cameras, camcorders and laptops to the TV.
Connecting with our customers has never been more important, and over the next three years, we are realigning our sales organization so that corporate and group customers can work with a primary point of contact. This new structure will reduce duplication, enable us to call on more customers and help us serve them even better.
We are also in touch with more customers through social media and online video. With nearly 350,000 visits to our podcast and blog, "Marriott on the Move," we can interact with thousands of guests. Plus, people visiting the blog have booked more than $3 million in gross sales. We also have videos on YouTube.com, which is a fun way to learn about our company.