HONG KONG --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) reaches another key milestone with the opening of its 150th hotel in Asia Pacific – the ITC Royal Gardenia, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Bengaluru. The opening of the 292-room hotel in India underscores Starwood's long-term strategic growth plans in Asia Pacific, where it has executed 23 new deals in 2009. This year, Starwood has also opened seven hotels prior to the opening of ITC Royal Gardenia with another seven slated to open by year end.
"Reaching our 150th hotel in Asia Pacific is an important next step for Starwood as we progress on the journey to open our 1,000th hotel and resort worldwide," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood. "The growth opportunities in Asia Pacific are unsurpassed perhaps anywhere in the world. And we are working with our best-in-class partners to further extend our position as the region's largest upper-upscale and luxury hotel company, while strengthening our place as the industry innovator in the select service segment."
Starwood's 150 high-caliber hotels can be found in 20 countries throughout its Asia Pacific Division, with the most significant growth occurring in China and India.
"Starwood has responded to Asia Pacific's acute need for lodging by working to open top quality conversion and new-build properties throughout this dynamic market." said Simon Turner, President of Global Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "In particular, China and India are fertile ground for Starwood as developers look to partner with world class brands that offer compelling guest experiences and are backed by powerful centralized sales and marketing systems."
Within China, Starwood is set to double its current footprint to 100 hotels by 2012. So far in 2009, the company has signed 18 new deals and opened three hotels. Among the four hotel openings in China for the remainder of the year are Le Meridien hotels in Qingdao and Chongqing, a Westin hotel in Tianjin, and a Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Lianyungang. Next year, W is expected to strengthen its presence with the opening of W Guangzhou, and the Luxury Collection brand will make its Chinese debut.
India is now home to 23 Starwood hotels, with another 15 under development. This year, Starwood made significant gains in the market with the debut of the Four Points by Sheraton brand in Mumbai and Jaipur. Meanwhile, developer and consumer favorite, Westin Hotels & Resorts, is set to welcome guests to and within India with three new hotels coming on board later this year in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune. And looking ahead to 2010, Starwood will launch its Aloft brand in India, opening the first three of its five hotels in the pipeline.
Beyond China and India, this year Starwood is opening its second Sheraton in Korea and will soon be opening its first Sheraton resort in Vietnam. Starwood also recently signed new deals for a Sheraton resort and spa in New Caledonia and a Le Meridien in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In 2010, the St. Regis brand will debut in Tibet, Thailand and Japan, while W makes its mark in Thailand and Indonesia. Starwood's midscale brand, Four Points by Sheraton, is also meaningfully expanding with its first opening in Malaysia in 2009 and its first in Thailand in 2010.
"Starwood has become the hotel industry's most global company – a position we assumed by remaining focused on working with the right partners in the right places on the right properties," said Miguel Ko, Chairman & President of Starwood's Asia Pacific Division. "Starwood continues to closely track both established and emerging markets throughout Asia Pacific to ensure our distinct and compelling brands are everywhere our guests want to be."
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 966 properties in more than 100 countries and 145,000 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®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, 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.
Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. Further results, performance and achievements may be affected by general economic conditions, including the duration and severity of any global or regional economic downturns, the availability of financing alternatives at acceptable terms, the impact of war and terrorist activity, business and financing conditions, foreign exchange fluctuations, cyclicality of the real estate (including residential) and the hotel and vacation ownership businesses, operating risks associated with the hotel, vacation ownership and residential businesses. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Further, there can be no assurance that agreements will be entered into for the hotels in the Company's pipeline and, if entered into, the timing of any agreement and the opening of the related hotel. 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 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.
Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.