Starwood Announces $4B International Expansion of Sheraton Hotel Brand
- Feb 19, 2010
February 19, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, a division of White Plains, N.Y.-headquartered Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., has revealed plans to increase the global presence of the upscale Sheraton brand with the opening of approximately 50 new hotels across four continents over the next three years. Sheraton Hotels will shell out over $4 billion on the project, which will create an aggregate 20,000 new guestrooms.
The 50 or so new properties will span 15 countries, including the U.S., Colombia, India, Russia, Slovakia, Taiwan and Vietnam. China will get the bulk of the attention with the addition of 28 hotels to its existing 22-property Sheraton portfolio.
Sheraton’s focus on China, which has the fastest growing economy in the world, is well placed. The country’s status as a market with potential for great future demand is widely held among U.S. hotel companies; approximately 29 percent of respondents to the DLA Piper 2010 Hospitality Outlook Survey selected China as the most attractive foreign market for U.S. investors. Business travel spending in China, as per a study by forecasting firm IHS Global Insight and the National Business Travel Association, will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5 percent through 2013. Sheraton will have a leg up on the competition as the chain, courtesy of its vast international portfolio, boasts 92 percent global awareness among business travelers.
Among hotel developers and operators in the U.S., Sheraton is not alone in its pursuit to position itself to take advantage of the impending need for additional lodging accommodations in various locations around the world. Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott International plans to add 21 hotels to its Asia-Pacific Region management portfolio by the end of 2013. Parsippany, N.J.’s Wyndham Worldwide announced its Ramada and Days Inn brands will debut in Singapore with two new hotels in 2014. Minnetonka, Minn.-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide will triple its presence in India with the addition of 50 new properties under four different flags by the end of 2012.
Additionally, Starwood’s Westin chain will open 14 new hotels in China, Greece, Japan, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada this year alone.