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Starwood Hotels Focusing on International Growth and Conversion Opportunities
with Majority of 2010 Activity Happening in the Asia Pacific


SAN DIEGO - From the American Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in San Diego, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announces it expects to open another 80-100 high quality new-build and conversion hotels in 2010, coming off of the 83 opened and 77 new deals signed in 2009. Of these new hotels, roughly 70 percent will be outside of North America, with the majority in Asia Pacific. And Starwood’s upper upscale and luxury brands are leading the charge, representing more than 60% of the new openings. Among these hotels and resorts is expected to be its 1,000th property globally.

“By working to further establish relationships with travelers in these critical, high-growth markets today, we are ensuring the success of Starwood tomorrow”

“Over the past two years Starwood has opened more than 160 new hotels, and we are well positioned for another year of meaningful growth with 80-100 new hotels that will be representative of our best,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood. “In 2010 and beyond, we will continue to focus on opening great hotels, signing high quality new projects and conversions, and taking critical steps to ensure Starwood and our development partners are positioned to own the upswing as we increasingly see the global market turn into positive territory.”

Asia Pacific Represents Unprecedented Growth Opportunity for Starwood’s Brands

To meet the growing demand for high quality lodging in China, Starwood plans to double its portfolio there to 100 hotels by 2012. In 2010, Starwood is slated to open approximately 30 hotels in the market, including both The Luxury Collection and W brands’ first hotels in mainland China. The St. Regis, Westin, Le Meridien and Four Points by Sheraton brands will also increase their Chinese presence in 2010, while the Sheraton brand is experiencing the most robust growth and represents half the year’s total openings.

“China is expected to be one of the world’s largest outbound tourism markets by 2020, with a predicted 100 million outbound trips a year,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood. “As the Chinese travel, they are going to stay with the brands they know from home, which will have a meaningful effect on our business globally and underscores our focus there.” As a global pioneer, Starwood was the first international hotel chain to enter China. And today it is the country’s largest international upscale hotel operator.

Growth is also fertile in India, where Starwood has already opened 25 hotels and plans to increase its portfolio roughly 60% by the end of 2012. Starwood’s steady expansion in India is fueled by several of its brands including Westin, which will open two new hotels this year. And last year’s debut of the Four Points by Sheraton brand in India will soon be followed by the upcoming launch of the Aloft brand, which is set to open three hotels there by the end of 2010.

“When you take a look at India and China combined, you have 40 percent of the world’s population, and between them, they are averaging 8 percent growth in GDP,” added Turner. “By working to further establish relationships with travelers in these critical, high-growth markets today, we are ensuring the success of Starwood tomorrow”

North America and Europe Provide Strong Platforms for New-Build and Conversion Opportunities

Today, Starwood’s North America and Europe, Africa and Middle East divisions are the company’s largest in terms of hotels, and Starwood continues to see strong growth opportunities within them. In 2010, Starwood will introduce several of its brands to new markets – including the debut of the W brand in London – while also furthering its leadership in markets where its brands are already established – such as the addition of two new Sheraton hotels in New York City. Critically, the hotels opening in these divisions will represent both new-build and conversion properties.

“Starwood has a high quality and large enough footprint to enjoy the benefits of critical mass in North America,” said Paul Sacco, Senior Vice President of Development for Starwood’s North America. “However, there are numerous key markets in the vast North American landscape that represent strong growth potential for our nine well regarded and innovative hotel brands. We anticipate transaction activity will increase in 2010 with added focus on conversion projects, as well as select new build hotels. With our group of conversion-friendly brands, in addition to new build opportunities, we are well positioned to execute more than our fair share of opportunities in 2010 and beyond.”

In North America, which represents half of Starwood’s current portfolio, the company is slated to open approximately 30 hotels in 2010. Among these best-in-class properties are Aloft Brooklyn, New York; Element New York-Times Square; Sheraton Tribeca New York; and St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico. Growth in the New York City market is a key focus in 2010, with Starwood opening six hotels there and introducing its two newest brands – Aloft and Element.

Building on the 244 existing Starwood properties in Europe, Africa and Middle East, Starwood and its development partners are slated to open approximately a dozen more in the division, including Europe’s first Aloft. The St. Regis Mauritius Resort, which is on track to open this fall, is a conversion property, and will be the company’s fourth hotel on the island nation.

Starwood Primed for Growth in Latin America’s Emerging Markets

In Latin America, Starwood and its development partners see continued long term opportunities as demand growth significantly outpaces supply. And with low presence of international brands, particularly in the luxury segment, Starwood is poised for expansion throughout Latin America. In 2010, Starwood will debut the Westin brand in Peru – The Westin Libertador, Lima – and open the country’s second property under the Luxury Collection brand – Tambo Del Inka, A Luxury Collection Hotel. The Westin brand will also open its fifth hotel in Mexico and its first in Mexico City with The Westin Santa Fe.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 982 properties in more than 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels 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, and the recently launched Aloft®, and ElementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. 


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Brad Minor, 914-309-3392


Also See: In 1985 Starwood Hotels Opened its First Hotel in China, the Historic Great Wall Beijing Sheraton Hotel, Now Starwood Operates 43 Hotels with 57 Properties Scheduled to Open / August 2008

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