The Westin Pune Koregaon Park is the 25th Westin Hotel in Asia Pacific and the First of Six Westin Hotels to Open by 2012
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announces the opening of The Westin Pune Koregaon Park – the first of six new Westin Hotels to open in India over the next three years and the brand’s 25th Hotel in Asia Pacific. The hotel is illustrative of Starwood’s overall growth in India with 24 existing hotels and plans to grow its footprint by 60 percent by 2012.
“As home to the world’s fastest growing population, India represents a significant opportunity for Starwood and our development partners,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
India makes up 21 percent of the world’s incremental growth, and by 2016, its population is expected to be larger than that of Europe, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the United States combined.
“Coinciding with its population boom is the rise of India’s middle class, which is driving domestic tourism growth. In this decade, disposable income in India has grown about 10 percent annually, and much of that is being spent on travel,” added van Paasschen. “By working to further establish relationships with travelers in this critical, high-growth market today, we are ensuring the success of Starwood tomorrow.”
In 2009, Starwood made meaningful gains in India with the debut of the Four Points by Sheraton brand in Mumbai and Jaipur. And looking ahead to 2010, Starwood will launch its Aloft brand in India, opening the first three of its six hotels in the pipeline.
“India’s dynamic and resilient economy makes it a highly attractive choice for further hotel development,” said Miguel Ko, Chairman and President of Starwood Asia Pacific. “India has a strong GDP growth rate, an established role as global hub for the outsourcing industry and the infrastructure to support travel to and within the country. And with our plans to grow our footprint by 60 percent in the next three years, Starwood is well positioned to meet the pent-up demand for our lifestyle brands throughout India.”
While India is a growth powerhouse in and of itself, when combined with China, the implications for Starwood are even farther reaching.
“The potential numbers of new international travelers from India and China are staggering,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. “When you take a look at India and China, you have 40 percent of the world’s population, and between them, they are averaging 8 percent growth in GDP. Furthermore, by 2015, 400 million Chinese and Indians will have sufficient incomes to travel abroad – as a point of perspective that is seven times the number of international travelers who visited the United States last year.”
Westin Brand Fueling Growth in India
The opening of The Westin Pune Koregaon Park is the second Westin in India and follows The Westin Sohna Gurgaon Resort and Spa that opened in December 2007.
“These six new brand enhancing hotels will provide guests with the signature Westin experience they have come to expect at our 163 existing Hotels around the world,” said Don Elliot, Regional Vice President for Starwood’s India, Bangladesh and the Maldives region. “We look forward to continuing to grow throughout India and beyond to help ensure that Westin hotels are everywhere our guests want to be.”