BERLIN, Germany – From the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. today announced that it will open 50 hotels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East over the next three to five years. With growth fueled by demand for its design-led and luxury brands, the company will unveil 12 of these hotels in the region this year alone. Globally, Starwood expects to open 70-80 hotels in 2011 as it continues to strengthen its lead as the world’s largest operator of luxury and upper upscale hotels.
“Starwood’s luxury and design-led brands are driving our growth in all geographic regions as we continue to offer travelers more luxury and more memorable experiences, in more destinations,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. “We are targeting new-build and conversion opportunities across all nine of our world-class brands, with particular interest in Europe’s fastest growing markets throughout East Central Europe.”
Key upcoming openings in the region include five new St. Regis hotels in primary destinations such as Italy, Mauritius, United Arab Emirates and Qatar; the debut of W Hotels in three major European cultural and financial centers: London, Paris and St. Petersburg; and the launch of Le Méridien in Turkey, a key fast growing market for Starwood.
Fast Growing Markets Russia and Turkey Key to Starwood Growth Strategy
Starwood’s growth in the region is being accelerated by a focus on key fast growing markets, including Russia and Turkey. In fact, Turkey’s economic growth rate of 7% in 2010 rivaled that of many Asian countries, and both Turkey and Russia are expected to grow more than 4% in 2011, according to industry sources.
Starwood will double its portfolio in Russia by 2013 and will see a 60% growth rate in Turkey, opening hotels under three of its brands in these markets. In Turkey, this year’s opening of Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler will be followed by Sheraton Bursa and Aloft Bursa in 2013. And in Russia, Starwood is set to debut the new W St. Petersburg this spring, followed by the opening of Sheraton hotels in Perm and Rostov-on-Don in 2013.
Starwood Strengthens Position in Europe with Significant Portfolio Enhancements
As Starwood continues to grow its luxury brands portfolio, the company is making significant investments to enhance its existing portfolio. In Europe alone, Starwood is investing over $100 million in renovations, including landmark Luxury Collection hotels such as the Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice, the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville, Spain, the Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian, Spain, the Imperial Hotel, Vienna, and Hotel Prince de Galles in Paris.
Starwood is also making a significant investment to improve the portfolio of two of its largest brands in the region – Sheraton and Le Méridien. Sheraton recently invested $1 billion in new hotels and nearly $300 million to renovate existing properties in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Likewise, Le Méridien expects to complete its investment of $30 million to renovate 40% of its portfolio in this geographic region by 2014.