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Starwood opens 150th Asian hotel, China and India fuel growth

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has opened its 150th hotel in Asia-Pacific – the 292-room ITC Royal Gardenia, a Luxury Collection hotel in Bengaluru in the South Indian state of Karnataka.

"Reaching our 150th hotel in Asia-Pacific is an important next step for Starwood as we progress on the journey to open our 1,000th hotel and resort worldwide," said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood. "The growth opportunities in Asia-Pacific are unsurpassed… We are working with our best-in-class partners to further extend our position as the region’s largest upper-upscale and luxury hotel company, while strengthening our place as the industry innovator in the select service segment."

China and India fuelling growth in Asia-Pacific
Starwood’s 150 hotels can be found in 20 countries throughout its Asia Pacific Division, with the most significant growth occurring in China and India.

"Starwood has responded to Asia-Pacific’s acute need for lodging by working to open top-quality conversion and new-build properties throughout this dynamic market," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. "In particular, China and India are fertile ground for Starwood as developers look to partner with world-class brands that offer compelling guest experiences and are backed by powerful centralised sales and marketing systems."

Within China, Starwood is set to double its current footprint to 100 hotels by 2012. So far in 2009, the company has signed 18 new deals and opened 3 hotels. Among the 4 hotel openings in China for the remainder of the year are Le Meridien hotels in Qingdao and Chongqing, a Westin hotel in Tianjin, and a Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Lianyungang. Next year, W is expected to strengthen its presence with the opening of W Guangzhou, and the Luxury Collection brand will make its Chinese debut.

India is now home to 23 Starwood hotels, with another 15 under development. This year, Starwood made significant gains in the market with the debut of the Four Points by Sheraton brand in Mumbai and Jaipur. Meanwhile, developer and consumer favourite Westin Hotels & Resorts is set to welcome guests to and within India with 3 new hotels coming on board later this year in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune. Looking ahead to 2010, Starwood will launch its Aloft brand in India, opening the first three of its five hotels in the pipeline.

Starwood breaks new ground in region
Beyond China and India, this year Starwood is opening its second Sheraton in Korea and will soon be opening its first Sheraton resort in Vietnam. Starwood also recently signed new deals for a Sheraton resort and spa in New Caledonia and a Le Meridien in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In 2010, the St Regis brand will debut in Tibet, Thailand and Japan, while W makes its mark in Thailand and Indonesia. Starwood’s midscale brand, Four Points by Sheraton, is also expanding with its first opening in Malaysia in 2009 and its first in Thailand in 2010.

"Starwood has become the hotel industry’s most global company – a position we assumed by remaining focused on working with the right partners in the right places on the right properties," said Miguel Ko, Chairman & President of Starwood’s Asia Pacific Division. "Starwood continues to closely track both established and emerging markets throughout Asia-Pacific," he added.

(Source: Starwood Hotels and Resorts)