Over the past several months, NYC occupancy has continued to surpass last year s levels: June occupancy averaged 86.4%, up 5% over last year at the same time. In addition, 45.25 million tourists visited in 2009, exceeding expectations by 7%. By 2012, New York City anticipates attracting 50 million visitors annually and there is a need for new hotels to meet this demand. New York maintained its position as the world s most popular tourist destination for international visitors last year, and emerged as the top choice for domestic travelers for the first time in nearly 30 years. Starwood is well prepared for the influx of travelers with product that is the best it has ever been. In fact, by 2011, 75% of Starwood s portfolio in New York will be brand new or freshly renovated.
In 2010, we will further diversify our strong portfolio in New York City by adding seven strategically located hotels, all backed by our powerful Starwood Preferred Guest program, said Denise Coll, President of North America Division for Starwood Hotels and Resorts. We have spent the past three years preparing for New York City s economic recovery by working closely with our proven development partners on the right properties in the right places. As a result, we re ready to meet the resurgence in demand for our high-quality lifestyle brands in neighborhoods across the city.