HOTEL group Marriott International plans to open seven Scottish hotels in the next four years.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has welcomed the plan and will meet senior staff from the group on her visit to New York.

The new hotels, which include the W Edinburgh at the St James scheme and three Moxy hotels, will boost the group’s room rate in Scotland by 75 per cent.

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Speaking ahead of the visit, the First Minister said: “Despite the uncertainty brought about by Brexit, Scotland’s economy and tourism sectors remain strong and I am delighted that big businesses like Marriott International are choosing to show their confidence by investing here.

“Scotland’s performance in hotel markets is exceptionally strong, with latest figures showing that we are outperforming 11 of the main 12 European hotel markets.”

Marriott’s Kevin Montano said: “We remain optimistic for the future growth of our company and hospitality overall in Scotland.”