STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced that its world-renowned Westin brand has reached the 200th hotel milestone with the opening of The Westin Chongqing Liberation Square in China. Westin will follow this growth milestone with the opening of three more hotels in China: The Westin Zhujiajian Resort in Zhoushan, The Westin Blue Bay Resort in Qingshui Bay, Hainan and The Westin Haikou in Hainan. Starwood expects to open a total of nine new Westin hotels worldwide in 2014 and nearly another 30 by the end of 2016, with almost half of those new hotels in Asia Pacific, the brand’s fastest growing region.
“The Westin brand has built a strong foundation and following in established markets over the last decade, and the fact that we have opened our 200th Westin in China is illustrative of the phenomenal demand we are now experiencing in Asia Pacific, as well as our strong and deep-rooted local teams in dynamic markets worldwide,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. “Emerging markets now account for nearly 70% of the Westin development pipeline, fueled by accelerating demand in China and India, where rising wealth and rapid urbanization have generated a fierce appetite for strong global brands.”
“In just the past five years, Westin has evolved from a primarily North American brand to a global growth leader due to the tremendous worldwide appeal of its distinctive wellness positioning. We are experiencing rapid growth not only in Asia Pacific, but also in the Middle East and throughout the Americas,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader for Westin Hotels & Resorts and Le Meridien. “Renowned as one of the industry’s most innovative brands, Westin has cultivated a loyal following among global travelers, which in turn has created a buzz among owners and developers who are eager to introduce Westin to new markets worldwide."
Emerging Markets Propel the Westin Brand’s Global Growth
Demand for Westin continues to surge in China and India, the world’s two fastest growing travel markets. The opening of The Westin Chongqing marks the Westin brand’s debut in this important economic hub in southwest China and offers travelers an ideal location in the city’s central business district. By year’s end, the Westin portfolio in China will surpass 20 hotels, including debuts in several other new markets such as Zhujiajian in Zhoushan, Qingshui Bay and Haikou in Hainan. In the next three years, the Westin portfolio in China will increase by nearly 50% with the addition of 11 new hotels.
Turner added: “As more and more people have the means and desire to travel, particularly from China which is now the world’s largest tourism source, we are seeing increased demand for resort destinations. To meet this growing demand, Westin is growing its global resort portfolio, including the opening of The Westin Blue Bay Resort in Qingshui Bay, Hainan – China’s premier resort destination, The Westin Zhujiajian Resort in Zhoushan – China’s largest archipelago and a popular tourist destination, as well as the upcoming openings of The Westin Bekal Resort & Spa in India and The Westin Ubud Resort & Spa in Indonesia.”
In India, Westin will also open The Westin Delhi NCR Noida next year, as the brand remains on track to grow its portfolio in the country by 50% in the next three years. In Indonesia, Westin will jump from one to three hotels in the next two years. In addition to The Westin Ubud Resort & Spa opening in Bali this fall, the brand will debut The Westin Jakarta in 2015. Westin also continues to reignite in markets across Asia Pacific with the brand’s return to Singapore last November after a 12-year absence and in 2016 will re-enter the Philippines.
In the Middle East, Westin is expanding rapidly and will triple its portfolio by 2016 with the addition of five new hotels in markets including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
Westin Expands Footprint in the Americas
A long-time developer favorite in the U.S., Westin has built a very strong foundation in North America over the last decade, laying the foundation for the brand’s phenomenal global growth. Nearly two thirds of Westin’s current portfolio and more than 25% of the brand’s pipeline is in the Americas.
In North America, Westin is increasingly sought after for new hotel developments in revitalized downtown districts. This trend is exemplified by the recent opening of The Westin Wilmington, the newest addition to the city’s recently redeveloped waterfront. Other key openings in 2014 include the internal conversion of The Westin Crystal City and The Westin Cleveland Downtown followed by openings in San Jose, California, Austin, Texas, Bethesda, Denver and Jackson, Mississippi in 2015.
In Latin America, Westin has grown its footprint by over 80% in the past three years, entering a number of new markets such as Peru, Panama and Costa Rica and further expanding its strong presence in Mexico. The brand now boasts 12 hotels in the region.
About Westin Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts offers innovative programs that transform every aspect of a stay into a revitalizing experience. All Westin signature services – like the Heavenly Bed®, delicious SuperFoodsRx® and WestinWORKOUT® studio – have been designed with the guests’ well-being in mind. Westin hotels, with more than 190 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.