Hotel Online Special Report

Starwood Signs Strategic Alliance Agreement
with Discovery Hotel Group to Open
Four Points Hotels by Sheraton in China
SINGAPORE, June 4, 1999 - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) has reached a strategic alliance agreement with the Discovery Hotel Group Limited to launch the Four Points Hotels by Sheraton brand in the People's Republic of China.  This strategic alliance marks the entry of the Four Points Hotels brand in Asia-Pacific.
Four Points Hotels are planned initially for the traditional gateway cities of China, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.  The emerging business and manufacturing centers in supporting hub cities, such as Chongqing, Wuhan and Dalian, will also be important target areas of the Four Points expansion plan in China. 

"Our research indicates that there are both geographic and economic opportunities to provide quality and economical lodging to the mid-priced market in China," said John Wong, President and CEO of Discovery Hotel Group Limited.  "There are currently few or no alternatives for such mid-priced international quality accommodation for business travelers in many secondary cities," he added. 

The Starwood and Discovery Hotel Group alliance is in the final stages of negotiation to open a Four Points Hotel in China in 1999, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
"We are very excited to be working with John Wong and the Discovery Group to introduce this new top-ranked mid-priced hotel brand to China, a large and growing market for mid-price accommodation," said Ted Teng, President, Asia-Pacific Division, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.  Starwood expects to have at least 10 Four Points Hotels signed and under development in Asia-Pacific in the next three years.
China is developing as an economic powerhouse and, apart from the multinational corporations, many small and mid-sized businesses are interested in doing business in China.  These business travelers require consistent quality, access to business services, and assistance with the forms and processes of doing business in China.  "Four Points Hotels will function as business partners to these travelers, making their China ventures that much more cost-effective and successful," added Wong.
Discovery Hotel Group Limited operates from offices in Los Angeles, Shanghai and Beijing.  The company was founded by John W. Wong, a Los Angeles-based hotel executive who also owns and operates a Four Points Hotel in Ventura, California.  In addition to operating hotels in China, the Starwood and Discovery Hotel Group alliance includes the establishment of a hotel management training program in Shanghai.
Introduced in 1995, Four Points Hotels by Sheraton has grown to more than 90 properties in eight countries.  Unlike most mid-scale hotels, all Four Points Hotels by Sheraton are full-service and offer room service, an on-premise restaurant serving three meals daily, meeting rooms with full-service catering capabilities, a fitness facility; and most have swimming pools.
Four Points Hotels by Sheraton is the mid-scale brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.  Through its Sheraton, Westin, St Regis/Luxury Collection, Four Points, Ciga, W and Caesars subsidiaries, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has more than 700 hotels in 72 countries with over 223,000 rooms, and is one of the leading hotel companies in the world.

Sandra Merkin
Also See: The Lodge At Koele and the Manele Bay Hotel to Join The Luxury Collection of Starwood Hotels Resorts / Nov 1998 
Sheraton Signs Agreement to Manage the Former Oberoi Hotel in Dammam, Saudia Arabia / April 1999 

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