Starwood Hotels & Resorts is planning to expand its portfolio throughout Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Over the next three years, Starwood will more than double its portfolio in the region with seven new hotels, including the debut of the Aloft brand in Russia with the new Aloft St. Petersburg.
Emphasizing the importance of the region as one of the world’s fastest-growing hotel and travel markets, CEO Frits van Paasschen and members of Starwood’s senior executive team visited Russia this week, travelling to key growth markets, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don.
“As one of the world’s fastest-growing outbound travel markets, Russia represents a great opportunity for us,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “With a rising middle class, growing disposable income, an affinity for luxury brands and huge pent-up demand for foreign travel, Russia is emblematic of the growth we are seeing in regions around the world and key to our global growth plans.”
Last year, Starwood opened three new hotels in Russia and CIS, marking a number of key milestones, including the highly successful debut of the W brand in Russia with the opening of W St. Petersburg and the entrance of Starwood into Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
“Moscow has more billionaires than any other city in the world and yet Russia is seriously under-hoteled, with only 28 high-end hotels,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development & Acquisition, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Russia and CIS offer tremendous growth opportunities, especially within markets that do not have major internationally-branded hotels. We plan to expand our brands throughout the region in the years to come with development partners who have a proven track record of success and are looking for a new and exciting growth vehicle.”
Starwood Continues Expansion
With more than 70% of the world’s economic growth coming from fast-growing markets over the next few years, Starwood is focused on expansion in developing markets such as Russia as well as key emerging markets including Ukraine and Tajikistan.
As part of this strategy, Starwood is investing in development, sales and expanding its Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program in Russia, and will open seven new hotels across Russia and CIS in the next three years. Key highlights include:
The debut of Starwood in Kiev with the opening of Sheraton Kiev Olympiysky, Ukraine in 2013. The hotel will be located in central Kiev at Troitskaya Square, just steps away from famous Khreschatik Street and other city landmarks.
The entry of Starwood into Tajikistan in 2013 with the opening of a new Sheraton hotel in the country’s capital city of Dushanbe.
Starwood’s second Sheraton hotel in Moscow with the opening of Sheraton Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport in 2013. This new 10-storey hotel will be part of the Skypoint Business Park, located 800 metres from the international terminal of Sheremetyevo Airport.
The debut of Starwood in three emerging Russian markets with the openings of a Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Kaluga and a Sheraton hotel in Rostov-on-Don in 2014, followed by the opening of Sheraton Perm in 2015.
Russia’s first Aloft hotel with the new Aloft St. Petersburg. Scheduled to open in 2015, Aloft St. Petersburg will be part of an emerging business district within close proximity to galleries, restaurants and green spaces, and will offer an entirely new approach to Russia’s mid-market category.
Sheraton First-Mover Advantage
While Starwood is committed to the growth of all of its brands throughout Russia and CIS, the company’s most iconic brand - Sheraton Hotels & Resorts - plays a critical role in its development strategy.
“With the largest footprint among Starwood’s portfolio and one of the world’s most recognized hotel brands, Sheraton is often the brand that allows Starwood to enter key markets,” said Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “Nowhere is Sheraton’s ‘first-mover advantage’ more evident than in Russia and CIS where the Sheraton brand is driving our growth in key Russian and Ukrainian markets, such as Perm, Rostov-on-Don and Kiev.”
Starwood CEO and Senior Executives Visit Russia
Underscoring the importance of the region as one of Starwood’s fastest-growing hotel and travel markets, van Paasschen and seven members of Starwood’s senior executive team visited Russia this week. On the trip, Starwood executives met with hotel owners, customers and investors in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Sochi with the goal to further understand, appreciate and ultimately leverage different cultural perspectives and approaches to business.
Starwood currently operates five hotels in Russia and CIS, including: Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Sheraton Palace Hotel, both in Moscow, and the recently opened W St. Petersburg in Russia, Sheraton Baku Airport in Azerbaijan and Four Points by Sheraton Zaporozhye, Ukraine.