Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide said its Sheraton brand continues to lead the company's global growth and strengthen Starwood's position as one of the largest international hotel operators in China. Twenty-five new Sheraton hotels will open this year, including 16 in cities across China. Sheraton will also lead Starwood's future global expansion and represents 30 percent of the company's total development pipeline.
"Sheraton is the number one contributor to Starwood's global growth and has given us a significant lead in many fast-developing markets," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. "In China, which is now Starwood's second largest market after North America, Sheraton is expanding its presence in the country's biggest cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in rapidly developing urban centers including Guangzhou, Wanning and Hangzhou. The strength of Sheraton is also driving meaningful growth for sister brand Four Points by Sheraton, which is set to double its footprint in China over the next three years."
This year, Sheraton will open its fourth hotel in Shanghai, its secondin Beijing and its first two hotels in Guangzhou. With the addition of 16 new hotels in 2011, Sheraton will increase its portfolio in China to 53 by year's end. The iconic hotel brand also accounts for 50 percent of the Starwood hotels under development in China, moving Starwood closer to its goal of operating 100 hotels in China by the end of 2012.
"Sheraton has leveraged its first-mover advantage in China, where we are now one of the country's strongest global brands and the engine of Starwood's growth," said Hoyt Harper, global brand leader for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. "Our recent brand-wide revitalization and significant investment in new hotel development has also fueled our expansion in many other key markets, including India, Japan and South Korea."
Sheraton will open its first Sheraton in Bangalore in 2011, helping to widen Starwood's lead as the largest operator of five-star hotels in India. Also this year, Sheraton will open its first hotel in Hiroshima, Japan, its second in Seoul, South Korea and its second in Montreal, Canada. Within more mature markets like North America, the brand expects to continue to fuel its growth through high quality conversion opportunities.
Starwood's largest brand, Sheraton boasts a current portfolio of more than 400 hotels in 72 countries and 92 percent awareness among business travelers, higher than all other global hotel brands. Following the completion of its $6 billion brand-wide revitalization, Sheraton is investing another $5 billion to add more than 50 new hotels to its portfolio by the end of 2013.
Starwood has spent the last few years renovating and rebuilding one of the hotel industry's most iconic brands and the multi-billion dollar investment is already paying off with measurable success. Guest satisfaction scores are the highest in the brand's history and likelihood to return, likelihood to recommend and meeting planner and associate engagement scores are also at all-time highs - signaling that guests are taking notice and rediscovering the new Sheraton.