Starwood to boost Asia presence
Thailand among fast-growing markets targeted by company
Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc, one of the world's leading hotel and leisure companies, will focus on expanding its network in Asia, including Thailand, by promoting its nine brands, inspired largely by the region's tourism boom and growing economy.
One new opening scheduled for this year is Vana Belle on Koh Samui. It will open on January 20, according to its website.
Asia is one of the key markets for Starwood. More than half of the hotels in its expansion plan are in this region. The luxury brands Sheraton, Westin and Le Meridien will play a key role in the expansion.
Simon Turner, the company's president of global development, said the company would expand this year in both new and established markets.
This year's openings of new hotels and resorts will be mainly in fast-growing markets worldwide. Starting with Tajikistan, it will open properties in Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Hungary, Turkey and Saudi
The company will also continue investing in growing markets such as China and India, while in Brazil, Russia and sub-Saharan Africa, it will look for potential partners for business development.
This year will see the company's highest number of new hotel openings after inking deals with property owners over the past five years. Last year alone, Starwood signed management and franchise agreements to open 131 hotels and resorts under different brands, up 17 per cent from 2011.
The firm operates its hotel and leisure business both directly and through subsidiaries. Other
brands under the Starwood umbrella are St Regis, the Luxury Collection, W, Four Points, Aloft and Element.