Starwood announced ambitious plans to open between 70 and 80 hotels this year, 40 of which will be concentrated in Asia-Pacific, and at least 60 percent will be upscale brands, reflecting demand for luxury products by an increasingly affluent regional clientele. The new projects will consist of both new-build and conversion properties.
In China, the company aims to expand its current portfolio of 70 properties to 115 hotels by 2012 with 19 Sheraton properties, 10 Westin hotels and two St. Regis hotels.
It will also focus on India, extending its presence across the subcontinent by 40 percent. Currently, Starwood has 30 properties in India, and intends to add three more Aloft properties and four properties under the Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton and Le Meridien brands.
Additionally, the company will pursue growth in other emerging markets around the region. In Thailand, it is looking at setting up two Four Points by Sheraton, an Aloft and a St Regis, while in Malaysia the group will plant two Four Points by Sheraton.
Frits van Paasschen, president and chief executive officer of Starwood, said: “We are leveraging our global advantage in key international markets where building hotels is critical to developing infrastructure. The world’s rising economic powers are expected to surpass established markets by 2050, and our footprint is growing accordingly.