Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announces the recent opening of its 50th hotel in China – the Sheraton Jinan Hotel. The opening reinforces Starwood’s leadership position in China where it has signed 18 new deals in the past 10 months and remains on track with plans to double its presence by 2012.
“In a few short years, China will be one of the world’s largest outbound tourism markets with the Chinese generating more than 100 million outbound trips a year – that is 10 times the number taken by Japanese tourists who had such a profound impact on the industry in the 1980s,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood. “And when the Chinese do travel, they are going to stay in the brands that they know from home, which will have a meaningful effect on our business globally and underscores why we are investing so heavily in this critical market now.”
Starwood Opens Seven Hotels in China in 2009
China is currently home to the largest number of Starwood hotels outside of North America, and it has the largest pipeline of new hotels outside of the United States. So far this year, Starwood has opened three hotels in China: Sheraton Jinan Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Guangzhou-Dongpu and Sheraton Shunde Hotel. Through the remainder of the year, Starwood is expected to open four additional hotels: Le Meridien Qingdao, Le Meridien Chongqing-Nan’an, Four Points by Sheraton Lianyungang and The Westin Tianjin.
“Starwood sees tremendous long-term growth opportunity in China, and we are working with our proven development partners to build a best-in-class portfolio of hotels throughout this dynamic market,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. “We look to China as a key catalyst for our strategic global growth engine.”