WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced today that its global powerhouse, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, will continue to enhance its portfolio by removing eight additional hotels later this year that do not meet the brand's new upgraded standards. This will be the final group of "brand detractors" Sheraton will remove as it completes its $6 billion revitalization effort. These hotels are in addition to the 36 "off brand" properties Sheraton has already removed to improve its quality and consistency of the brand, and reflect a significantly enhanced guest experience. As Sheraton removes "off brand" hotels it is increasing its worldwide footprint through a strategic, $5 billion expansion that will add approximately 50 new hotels and more than 20,000 rooms to its global portfolio over the next three years.
The brand's multi-billion dollar investment is already paying off with measurable success - for the past four quarters guest satisfaction scores have consistently continued to rise and last month reached new, all-time historic highs. Likelihood to return to the brand, likelihood to recommend and meeting planner scores are also up across the board as the brand begins to see solid growth in market share, signaling that guests are taking notice and rediscovering the new Sheraton.
"The brand's all-time high guest satisfaction scores is a direct result of the extraordinary work we've invested in rebuilding Starwood's most global and storied brand," said Hoyt Harper, global brand leader for Sheraton Hotels. "A significant focus of this effort has been improving the quality and consistency of the brand portfolio by removing properties that do not meet the brand's new standards and the needle is moving in the right direction. And, as the economy rebounds and travelers return to the road en masse, Sheraton will be ready with new flagship hotels, renovated properties and signature brand offerings."
Making up nearly 50% of Starwood's total rooms, Sheraton is a key focus for Starwood, especially as the company aggressively positions itself to own the upswing as the economy recovers. As yesterday's staycations, cancelled meetings and postponed business trips become tomorrow's pent up demand, travelers will find the newest portfolio in the Sheraton brand's history.
Following on the heels of the revitalization effort Starwood and its partners are investing $5 billion in new hotel openings across four continents. As Starwood's largest brand, Sheraton currently boasts more than 400 hotels in 75 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 and territories, including the United States, Colombia, Greece, 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 24 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.
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, like all brands within Starwood's robust portfolio, is proud to offer the Starwood Preferred Guest(R) program, which made headlines when it launched in 1999 with a breakthrough policy of no blackout dates on Free Night Awards. SPG(R) offers members the ability to redeem awards at more resorts, more luxury properties, more European hotels and more golf properties than any other hotel program.
Sheraton helps guests make connections at more than 400 hotels in 75 countries around the world. It is owned by and is the largest and most global brand Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1000 properties in nearly 100 countries and territories with 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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SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.