NEW YORK, May 10, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced that it is bringing top customers and hotels from around the world together at the kick-off of its Global Rendezvous meeting in New York City, which runs from today through May 11th. The Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers is hosting the event where Starwood's senior leadership team will discuss leisure and business travel trends as the industry rebounds and the future direction of Starwood's high-caliber brands, all of which are now represented in New York City following the recent conversion of The Chatwal New York to The Luxury Collection.
"New York City is on track to receive 50 million visitors a year by 2012, making it one of our most important urban markets and the perfect place to showcase all nine of our high-caliber global brands," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "At Rendezvous, we will highlight the many ways our clients can leverage the power of Starwood at a time when companies are picking up the pace of travel, booking more meetings and sending employees back out on the road."
Starwood's leadership team is meeting with clients and influencers from around the world including China, India, Europe and Japan, as the travel intensive recovery continues to build and business confidence grows. Starwood's worldwide RevPAR grew over 9% in the first quarter and for the first time in this recovery, rate contributed as much as occupancy. Group business continues to accelerate, corporate profitability is high, and businesses are travelling in search of growth. Corporate rates up in the high single digits, and midweek occupancies are now at or near 2007 levels in many gateway cities including London, Paris, Hong Kong, New York and San Francisco.
"Our customers know how important it is to meet clients in person to build relationships and drive business, especially as the industry continues to rebound," said Christie Hicks, Senior Vice President, Global Sales for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "The Rendezvous customer meeting in New York City gives us the opportunity to show them how Starwood can help businesses maximize travel opportunities and take advantage of our new meetings offerings."
Starwood currently boasts a portfolio of 25 hotels in New York City under all nine of its brands. The Sheraton brand's flagship hotel in New York City - Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, is currently undergoing a $150 million renovation that will transform its 1,080 guest rooms and significantly enhance the décor and offerings of the Sheraton Club Lounge. Starwood also recently signed deals to open two additional hotels in New York City by 2014, including Four Points by Sheraton Financial District, Aloft Manhattan Downtown - Financial District.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,051 properties in 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 ElementSM. The company boasts one of the industry's leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. 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.
SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.