Starwood signals aggressive growth

Starwood signals aggressive growth
By admin

Starwood Hotels and Resorts will focus on expanding its network of properties in 2013, with growth in both emerging and developed markets firmly within its sights.

Its upscale brands are expected to drive the growth, with 20 new Sheratons planned for 2013, and its tally of Westin properties to break the 200 mark.

Meanwhile, midscale brands Aloft, Element and Four Points by Sheraton will account for nearly 45% of openings this year, including Starwood's 250th property in the segment.

The hospitality firm, which also includes St Regis, Luxury Collection, W Hotels and Le Meridien among its nine brands, confirmed that nearly two-thirds of its new properties this year will open in emerging markets. It has plans for its first property in Tajikistan, with further growth across Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East also on the agenda.

However, president and chief executive Frits van Paasschen insisted the firm will also continue to focus on growing in developed regions.

"As part of our developed 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," he said.

Van Paasschen attributed the aggressive growth strategy to recent global trends and economic conditions which saw Starwood signed 131 new management and franchise agreements in 2012. The figure represents an increase of 17% on the previous year and is the most hotel deals signed by the firm since before the global financial crisis.

"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," he said.

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