Starwood Solidifies Its Position as Number One Operator of Upscale Hotels in China;
Underscores Aggressive Expansion Worldwide
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) marks a milestone in its aggressive growth in Greater China announcing the signing of the Sheraton Beijing Dongcheng Hotel, their 100th hotel in the area. As the first international hotel chain to enter China when the historic Great Wall Beijing Sheraton Hotel was established in 1985, Starwood today is the largest international upscale hotel company in China and continues to grow its footprint there with the expansion of its brands including Sheraton, Westin, Le Meridien, Sheraton, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and W hotels in established and emerging cities as well as resort destinations.
"With strong domestic demand, an increasing affinity for global brands and international inbound travel on the rise, our opportunity in China is perhaps unsurpassed anywhere in the world," said Simon Turner, President, Global Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. "What's more, by 2020, China is expected to generate over 100 million outbound trips a year, more than triple its current output, making it one of the largest origins of outbound travel in the world. As the Chinese travel abroad, they look for brands they know, and therefore Starwood's development in China today has significant implications for our hotels worldwide."
A dominant player in the upper-upscale and luxury hotel market in China, Starwood is poised to grow in the select service segment as well as demand for moderately priced accommodations accelerates. In September, Starwood will debut its first Aloft hotel in China, with the opening of the aloft Beijing, Haidian. Conceived by the same team that created W Hotels, aloft is designed with young, style-conscious, design-savvy consumers in mind. Four Points by Sheraton, also a select serve brand, continues to strike a chord with developers in China who admire the brand's comfortable, fun and fuss-free experience with a dozen hotels expected to open shortly.
"We expect healthy expansion as we launch Aloft throughout China and continue to expand our established brands in various Chinese cities where we are currently under penetrated," commented Miguel Ko, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific. "Starwood continues to win many new hotel projects in China and this is largely due to the confidence the development community has in our lifestyle brands, noted innovations and consistently strong delivery of results in the region."
Starwood is growing aggressively throughout Asia Pacific with 80 hotels currently under construction. China is fueling growth in the region, and more than half of Starwood's pipeline in Asia Pacific is in Greater China, where the company expects to double its portfolio by 2011. In addition to the 43 hotels Starwood currently operates in China, Starwood has 57 new properties scheduled to open. These include 22 Sheraton hotels, 12 Four Points by Sheraton hotels, eight Westin hotels, five W hotels, four St Regis hotels, three Le Meridien hotels, two Aloft hotels and one The Luxury Collection brand hotel.
Globally, Starwood marked a milestone this year with the opening of its 900th hotel, and expects to increase its portfolio by 50% over the next five years, driven by aggressive global expansion across all its brands and the unprecedented growth of its two new brands, aloft and element which launched earlier this year. Starwood's global pipeline includes 500 hotels and 120,000 rooms. Approximately half of Starwood's new hotels are expected to open outside of North America, reflecting the company's impressive growth in dynamic international markets.
Sheraton Beijing Dongcheng Hotel will feature 470 rooms, approximately 36,000 square feet of meeting space, three restaurants and bar, a health club, spa and indoor heated swimming pool. The hotel is part of the final phase of the Global Trade Center (GTC) mixed-use complex development. The complex comprises offices, retail shops, condominium, serviced apartments, and the hotel. Located in Dongcheng District, Sheraton Beijing Dongcheng Hotel is located in the heart of Beijing transportation network near the Third Ring Road, and within close proximity to the 2008 Olympics venue, business and financial districts as well as Tiananmen Square. In addition to Sheraton Beijing Dongcheng Hotel, Starwood currently has two hotels under construction in Beijing: Aloft Beijing Haidian and Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, Haidian; as well as four hotels in operation: Great Wall Sheraton Beijing, The Westin Beijing, Financial Street, The Westin Beijing, Chaoyang and St Regis Beijing.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Meridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(SM), and Element(SM). Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)