From the Hotel Investment Conference – South Asia (HICSA), Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced it will lengthen its lead with more four and five star hotels in India than any other hotel company with the opening of seven additional hotels in 2011 resulting in a total portfolio of 37 hotels in India by year’s end. Key openings in 2011 include Le Méridien Coimbatore and Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway, adjacent to the World Trade Center.
Starwood also announced the signing of the first W in India – W Mumbai. With the introduction of W Hotels, seven of Starwood’s nine brands will fly their flags in India including W, The Luxury Collection, Le Méridien, Westin, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft.
“Already our fourth largest market, India is second only to China in terms of our future global growth,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Given India’s growing wealth, infrastructure demands and accelerating stature as a global business hub, our opportunity here is vast. India today is still an ‘under-hoteled’ market and the demand for high-caliber lodging is expected to far exceed current supply for the next three to four years.”
Starwood to Open 50th Hotel in 2012
Starwood’s legacy in India dates back to 1973 when its Sheraton brand debuted in Mumbai. The company has since grown its portfolio to 30 hotels. Looking ahead, Starwood is on track to operate 50 hotels in India by the end of 2012, doubling its presence in the region in just two years. By 2015, Starwood expects to have 100 hotels open or in development.
“Indian consumers continue to enjoy double digit growth in per capita income and have a higher propensity to spend on travel and recreation,” said Vasant Prabhu, Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer for Starwood. “As domestic travel increases and Indian travelers continue to demand more sophistication in terms of both quality and experience, we have significant opportunity to grow our brands across the spectrum – whether that’s debuting our ultra luxury St. Regis brand or expanding our mid market footprint in underserved markets with Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton.”
India Key Growth Market for SPG – Membership Triples
Starwood’s distinct and compelling brands are creating new loyal guests in India. Membership in Starwood Preferred Guest, the company’s award-winning loyalty program has tripled in India over the past three years. Today, SPG members represent 40% of hotel guests at Starwood’s hotels in India.
W Hotels to Make Landmark Debut in Mumbai
Since the opening of the first W hotel in New York City in 1998, Starwood has transformed the design-led, luxury brand from a New York-centric concept to a worldwide phenomenon with hotels in high-profile cities such as London, Mexico City, Washington, D.C. and Bangkok. Now Mumbai is set to join that list with the debut of W Mumbai scheduled to open in 2015.
Under a management contract with Jaguar Buildcon Private Limited, the W Mumbai will be part of the landmark Namaste Tower, a 55-story, mixed-use building. Designed by WS Atkins, the Namaste Tower is named for its iconic design resembling two hands clasped together. Perfectly situated in the centre of Mumbai’s business, financial, retail, entertainment and high end residential hub, the hotel will provide the ultimate insider access.
Mid-Market Brands, Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton in Demand Across India
Driving portfolio growth in India is the proliferation of Starwood’s Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton brands. Aloft will double its footprint in India this year with new hotels in Ahmedabad, Coimbatore and Chandigarh. Four Points by Sheraton benefits from the halo effect of the Sheraton brand and its long legacy in India, and has grown its footprint with two new hotels this year in Visakhapatnam and Pune, following the openings of two hotels in 2010.
“India’s tech-savvy, younger generation is creating tremendous demand for our popular and affordable Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton brands, which are expanding rapidly in India’s many emerging urban centers,” said Dilip Puri, Managing Director India and Regional Vice President of South Asia. “Starwood has long-standing relationships with owners and developers across the country and the expertise in delivering a range of high-caliber lodging options to meet the needs of India’s rising middle class.”