Starwood unveils aggressive expansion plan

Starwood is anticipating executing 200 new deals and opening more than 80 new hotels in 2007, almost doubling the number of properties the company opened last year. Underscoring the company’s aggressive portfolio expansion across all nine of its brands, Starwood currently boasts a global pipeline of approximately 420 hotels and more than 100,000 rooms. Starwood has also taken the lead in the upper upscale and luxury segments, with 38 percent of the hotels and rooms in the industry pipeline, according to Smith Travel Report.

In the midst of its most prolific growth spurt ever, Starwood’s historic expansion is a result of the company’s dynamic development efforts outside of North America and increased penetration in the previously untapped select service and extended stay markets.
“Starwood has garnered more than its fair share of new hotel deals as a direct result of the tremendous value we create for owners and developers through the distinct positionings of each of our brands in the global marketplace,” said Raymond “Rip” Gellein, President, Global Development Group. “We look forward to continuing our aggressive expansion in destinations and markets around the world in which we have traditionally not had a presence.”

Nearly Half of Starwood’s New Hotels to Open Outside of North America

By dramatically increasing the global reach of its brands, Starwood is well positioned to take advantage of the predicted swell in international tourism spending. Industry sources estimate world travel and tourism to generate in excess of $7 trillion in 2007, rising to more than $13 trillion in the coming decade.

Demand for Starwood’s brands outside of North America is at its highest levels to date, with almost half of the company’s new hotels located outside of the region. In Asia, Starwood is experiencing unprecedented growth in India and particularly in China, where the company currently operates 34 hotels and is targeting more than doubling its presence in the region in the next three years. In Latin America, the company has announced plans for twelve new hotel projects, making it the largest and fastest growing hotel company in the region. In Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Starwood anticipates nearly doubling the number of new hotel projects this year, up from 23 deals in 2006, and targets opening approximately 50 hotels in the region in the next three years. In North America, Starwood’s pipeline is the most robust in the company’s history, with nearly 200 hotels projected to open over the next three years.


A Diversified Portfolio for Growth

Another key focus for Starwood is new brand development, particularly in segments where the company has traditionally had limited penetration. Starwood will revitalize the select-service and extended stay markets when it opens its first ALOFT and ELEMENT hotels in 2008. Starwood has more than 90 ALOFT and ELEMENT projects, including developments in Beijing, Brussels and Sydney.

Starwood is also fueling its growth with a diversified real estate strategy, leveraging the strength of its innovative brand portfolio to execute, design and construct vacation ownership projects and mixed-use developments. With revenues targeted to reach over $1 billion dollars in 2007, Starwood Vacation Ownership is the fastest-growing, highest margin vacation ownership company in the industry.