QUITO, Ecuador--(BUSINESS WIRE)--From the South American Hotel Investment Conference in Quito, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced that it is continuing its aggressive growth strategy in Latin America with significant gains across its Specialty Select Brands’ (SSB), Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft. Currently, Starwood operates 80 hotels in the region, with 17 additional properties under development. The company also announced the appointment of Victor Vazquez to the role of Vice President, Development and Acquisitions for Latin America.
“Starwood’s position and future prospects for growth in Latin America have never been stronger,” said Jorge Giannattasio, Chief of Operations and Global Initiatives for Latin America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “After a record year of openings in 2013, we are on pace to continue expanding in the region thanks to rising demand from investors and developers for our globally recognized brands – particularly in the specialty select segment.”
Giannattasio added: “This is the perfect time to welcome Victor to our team, and we are confident that his global experience in operations, finance, branding and development, combined with his knowhow of Latin America, will be instrumental to accelerating our growth in the region.”
Specialty Select Brands Drive Growth
With an existing SSB portfolio of 17 hotels under the Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft brands in Latin America, and 10 new hotels under development, the category is slated to expand by 60 percent in the next three years.
“Much like in the rest of the world, Four Points is riding a swell of growth in the region thanks to its best for business approach, which focuses on delivering timeless comfort and great service at a great price,” said Brian McGuinness is the Senior Vice President of Starwood’s Specialty Select brands. “Four Points has been experiencing tremendous global momentum and, during the remainder of this year, we will open five new Four Points hotels in the region, more than one a month.”
Seven new Four Points hotels are slated to debut in the fastest-growing markets in Latin America in the next three years. In Mexico – the company’s seventh largest market worldwide and largest market in the region – the company opened Four Points Queretaro in September, and will open three more hotels, including Four Points Saltillo in October, Four Points Cancun in December and Four Points Puebla in 2017. In Colombia, where the company is placing a strategic bet on expansion, Four Points Bogota and Four Points Barranquilla will also open by the end of the year. In addition, the brand will open Four Points Cuenca in Ecuador by September 2017.
Three new Aloft hotels will open by 2016 in the region, including Aloft Merida, Aloft Montevideo and Aloft Asuncion.
Expansion throughout the region
Mexico continues to lead the region in terms of expansion, with eight hotels under development by 2017. In addition to the upcoming Four Points hotels, Starwood will open Aloft Merida, The Westin Cozumel, W Kanai Retreat and The St. Regis Kanai in Riviera Maya by 2016. In Colombia, the highly anticipated W Bogota will also open by the end of the year, followed by Sheraton Cartagena by the end of 2015. W Panama and Sheraton Santa Cruz are slated to open by 2016.
Starwood appoints Victor Vazquez as vice president of development and acquisitions for Latin America
Starwood also announced the appointment of Victor Vazquez to the role of Vice President, Development and Acquisitions for Latin America. Vazquez will report to Matthew Fry, Senior Vice President, Global Development, and will oversee the company’s aggressive growth strategy in the region.
“I am excited to join Starwood as the company looks to build on its already strong footprint in Latin America,” said Vazquez. “The region is ripe with opportunities for hotel development, and I look forward to working with Starwood’s many experienced local teams to introduce our globally recognized and admired brands into new markets.”
Vazquez, who has relocated to the company’s Miami office, brings more than 20 years of experience, most recently serving as brand standards and global project lead in Singapore for IHG. In that role, he was responsible for shaping and executing the operations strategy for IHG’s Asia, Middle East & Africa (AMEA) division and led the development of hotel operations models and process for new hotel brands, joint ventures and special projects. Prior to that, Vazquez was part of the Global Operations team and Operations Council based out of IHG’s head office in the United Kingdom, and held a variety of positions within the company, including roles in feasibility, development, investment and asset management, brands and operations/finance support. He also served as a General Manager and gained hotel operations and hotel openings experience at city-center, resort and convention properties in the U.S., Argentina and Venezuela. Victor is a CPA who holds a MBA from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is 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.