Starwood Unveils Growth Plans for 2013

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Thursday, 10 January 2013

Building on its 2012 momentum with the most hotel deals signed since before the global economic crisis, Starwood Hotels & Resorts has said it anticipates a strong year of openings and new hotel agreements signings in 2013.

"Rising wealth, increasingly global businesses and a digitally connected world are creating unprecedented demand for travel and new travel patterns, and we continue to be as bullish as ever about our long-term growth," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO. "Whether it's manufacturing in Vietnam, mineral resources from Nigeria, or outbound tourism from Brazil, Russia, India or China, globalization is spurring economic development and creating many exciting expansion opportunities for our business."

In 2012, Starwood signed a total of 131 new hotel management and franchise agreements which represented an increase of 17% over 2011 signings levels, including 31 conversions, 12 of which opened during 2012.

Consistent with macroeconomic growth trends, nearly two-thirds of Starwood's new hotels in 2013 will open in fast-growing markets. Starwood plans to open its first property in Tajikistan, while also expanding further in such important markets as Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Hungary, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as well as perennial growth markets like China and India.

The company said it will also continue to focus on identifying the right partners for continued development in Brazil, Russia and throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Asia remains a high priority market for Starwood, accounting for approximately 25% of Starwood's existing hotel rooms and over 50% of Starwood's pipeline.

"Our owners are uniquely positioned to benefit from Starwood's global presence, scale, powerful systems and strong, growing base of loyal customers around the world. As part of our balanced approach to development, we are also seeing significant opportunities in established markets where conversion momentum continues, and record low supply and growing demand are driving growth," Mr. van Paasschen, added.

Starwood continues to build on its established presence in mature markets and to see strong interest in conversions for growth in developed markets such as North America. The company expects to see increased conversion momentum in 2013 in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe.


15% of Starwood's pipeline of new hotels are in its luxury portfolio, including an impressive pipeline in Asia Pacific and many conversion opportunities that exist around the world.

In 2013, Starwood will celebrate the opening of The St. Regis Abu Dhabi and the re-openings of two luxury icons and members of the Luxury Collection, the Gritti Palace and Prince de Galles, after significant, multi-million dollar restorations.

New openings for the Luxury Collection include: The Castle Hotel, Dalian (China); Vana Belle, Koh Samui (Thailand); and Palacio del Inka (Peru). Starwood will open its first W Hotel in mainland China with W Guangzhou and the first W alpine ski resort with W Verbier (Switzerland).

Upscale Brands

Sheraton will continue to fuel Starwood's growth with nearly 20 planned openings in 2013, a historic number of openings as the brand moves towards its milestone 500th opening in 2015. Sheraton has 57 hotels now operating in China and another 9 expected in 2013.

Westin is also experiencing meaningful growth around the world and expects to open its 200th hotel this year. Expected openings for 2013 include The Westin Birmingham (U.S.); The Westin Chennai Velachery (India); The Westin Houston Downtown (U.S.); The Westin Haikou (China); The Westin Sanya Haitang Bay Resort (China); The Westin San Jose (U.S.); The Westin Chongqing Liberation Square (China); The Westin Qingdao (China) and The Westin Singapore Marina Bay (Singapore).

After a significant investment in its hotels, Le Mridien is benefiting from growing brand recognition and deal signing momentum around the world. Planned 2013 openings include: Le Mridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh (U.S.); Le Mridien Atlanta Perimeter (U.S.); Le Mridien Zhengzhou (China); Le Mridien Saigon (Vietnam); Le Mridien Dhaka (Bangladesh); Le Mridien Cairo Airport (Egypt); Le Mridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa (India) and Le Mridien Jiaonan Resort (China).


Starwood's mid-market portfolio, which includes Aloft, Element and Four Points by Sheraton, has grown over 60% since 2009 reflecting the brands' worldwide appeal.

Starwood will open its 250th mid-market hotel this year. The three brands account for approximately 33% of the company's global development pipeline and nearly 45% of expected hotel openings worldwide in 2013.

Four Points, which represented over a quarter of Starwood's openings and signings last year, is set to open its 175th hotel and is expected to sign more deals in 2013 than ever before in company's history.

Aloft plans to grow its portfolio by nearly 30% in 2013, and celebrate its 75th hotel, driven heavily by openings in China, North America and India. Aloft is growing through an increased number of  conversions, and will debut in Panama, Malaysia and Turkey during the year.

Element will open its first hotel outside of the United States with its debut in Canada this summer followed by the brand's debut in Europe in 2014.


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