Starwood Continues to Build on Its Lead as the Hotel Industry's Most Global Company, Opening Its 50th Hotel in China and Signing 18 New Deals There in 2009
HONG KONG, Oct 15, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announces the recent opening of its 50th hotel in China - the Sheraton Jinan Hotel. The opening reinforces Starwood's leadership position in China where it has signed 18 new deals in the past 10 months and remains on track with plans to double its presence by 2012.
"In a few short years, China will be one of the world's largest outbound tourism markets with the Chinese generating more than 100 million outbound trips a year - that is 10 times the number taken by Japanese tourists who had such a profound impact on the industry in the 1980s," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood. "And when the Chinese do travel, they are going to stay in the brands that they know from home, which will have a meaningful effect on our business globally and underscores why we are investing so heavily in this critical market now."
China is currently home to the largest number of Starwood hotels outside of North America, and it has the largest pipeline of new hotels outside of the United States. So far this year, Starwood has opened three hotels in China: Sheraton Jinan Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Guangzhou-Dongpu and Sheraton Shunde Hotel. Through the remainder of the year, Starwood is expected to open four additional hotels: Le Meridien Qingdao, Le Meridien Chongqing-Nan'an, Four Points by Sheraton Lianyungang and The Westin Tianjin.
"Starwood sees tremendous long-term growth opportunity in China, and we are working with our proven development partners to build a best-in-class portfolio of hotels throughout this dynamic market," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. "We look to China as a key catalyst for our strategic global growth engine."
Starwood was the first international hotel chain to enter China when the historic Great Wall Beijing Sheraton Hotel was established in 1985. Today it is the country's largest international upper upscale and luxury hotel company and is making gains in the select-service market with the continued growth of the Four Points by Sheraton brand and last year's launch of the Aloft brand in Beijing. Looking ahead to 2010, Starwood will introduce China to W Hotels and to The Luxury Collection.
"We have a long legacy as a leader in China, and Starwood is committed to further extending this position with a robust and exciting pipeline of new hotels that span our distinct and compelling brands," said Miguel Ko, Chairman & President of Starwood's Asia Pacific Division.
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(R), The Luxury Collection(R), W(R), Westin(R), Le Méridien(R), Sheraton(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft(R), 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 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.