Starwood to welcome its 900th hotel this year
02/03/2008|11:00:00 AM|Etravelblackboardasia
Friday, 1 February 2008´╝ÜStarwood Hotels and Resorts this year will be welcoming the opening of its 900th property, and looking ahead, expects to increase its portfolio by 50% by the end of 2013.

Currently Starwood has 500 properties for development in the pipeline, including those that it plans to open, operate, manage as well as franchise.

“Starwood continues to win more than our fair share of new hotel projects globally and when we open our 900th hotel that will certainly highlight the company´s terrific growth trajectory,” said Raymond Gellein, Starwood President, Global Development Group.

“Our lifestyle brands and noted innovations have struck a chord with the development community as they believe this leads to increased loyalty as well as robust returns.

“In 2008 we expect healthy expansion as our newest brands in the select service category continue to gain traction and our established upper upscale and luxury brands expand in markets where we are currently underpenetrated,” Mr Gellein said.

One of the biggest regions of growth for Starwood will be the Asia Pacific region, where the property group intends to expand its portfolio in the area by more than 70% in 2008 alone.

This massive Asia Pacific growth will be spurred on by Starwood’s grand plans in China, where more than 40 properties are awaiting completion.

India is another boom country for the group as it intends to open another ten properties to join the existing 20 already operating.

Starwood will also more aggressively pursue its new brands Aloft and Element in the coming year, as well as more interest in revitalised Four Points by Sheraton businesses.

The global hotel giant this year expects to add another 80 to 100 hotels into its portfolio, which represents more than 50% of the number it opened last year.