WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced today that its global powerhouse, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, is increasing its worldwide footprint through a strategic expansion that will add approximately 50 new hotels and over 20,000 rooms to the brand over the next three years.
Starwood and its partners are investing more than $4 billion in new hotel openings across four continents - a development effort that follows the recent three-year, multi-billion dollar revitalization of its iconic brand and guest experience. As Starwood's largest and most global brand, Sheraton currently boasts more than 400 hotels in 70 countries with 92% global awareness among business travelers - the highest of any hotel brand in the world.
Beginning in 2010, the brand will open roughly 50 new hotels over three years in 15 countries, including the United States, Colombia, India, Russia, Slovakia, Taiwan and Vietnam. Sheraton - the largest international upper-upscale hotel brand in China - will nearly double its footprint in the country with the addition of 28 stunning new properties, including the Sheraton Shanghai Hong Kou Hotel, Sheraton Qingdao and Sheraton Huadu Resort , bringing its total number of hotels there to 50. The brand will also add 10 new resorts to its renowned portfolio, expand its footprint in New York City with new properties in Brooklyn and Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood and open several new convention hotels.
"Looking ahead, we continue to grow the Sheraton brand's already robust presence globally by working with our proven development partners to ensure we have best-in-class properties wherever our guests want to travel," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. "Increasingly, we are seeing demand and growth opportunities for new hotels in fast-growing international markets like China and India. In addition, as transaction activity increases in more mature markets throughout North America and Europe we expect to see a number of high quality conversion opportunities to be realized, especially in light of the successful completion of the brand's global revitalization."
As the economy rebounds, the hotel industry is gearing up for a significant influx of new international travelers from emerging markets. By 2015, 400 million Chinese and Indians will have sufficient incomes to travel abroad - for perspective that is seven times the number of international travelers who visited the United States last year. 1 That bodes well for Sheraton, which has a reputation as the leading hotel brand in international markets.
"Over the past three years, Sheraton has successfully revitalized one of the hotel industry's most iconic brands and now we're sustaining the momentum with an ambitious worldwide expansion," said Hoyt H. Harper II, Senior Vice President for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts. "Sheraton has historically been one of the first Western hotels to enter developing markets and when travelers from China and other emerging markets increase their travel internationally, they will stay with hotel brands they know from home. To ensure Sheraton was poised to dominate both domestically and internationally we invested $6 billion globally - $4 billion in North America alone - to ensure a consistent, exceptional guest experience across our portfolio."
Last year, Sheraton completed a three-year, multi-billion global brand overhaul that encompassed more than $4 billion in new hotels, renovations and signature brand initiatives in North America and another $2 billion in new hotels overseas. Highlights included:
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 992 properties in nearly 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.
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1 "The 'Bird of Gold': The Rise of India's Consumer Market," McKinsey Global Institute May 2007; "The Value of China's Emerging Middle Class," McKinsey Global Institute June 2006
SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.