Last year, the company signed 152 new hotel management and franchise agreements. Approximately 60 per cent of the signings were in growing markets, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Columbia and Saudi Arabia. “Globalization continues to spur economic growth, infrastructure development and, for us, footprint expansion,” says Frits van Paasschen, president and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “[It] already looks to be shaping up as a better version of 2013 with a number of key milestones for us, including the opening of our 200th Westin, 200th Four Points by Sheraton, and more Le Méridien hotels in any one year since we acquired the brand in 2005.”
This year, 10 new properties are slated to open in Starwood’s luxury category, including St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W brands, with openings in Bogotá, Beijing, Istanbul and Odessa. And, in its upper-upscale category, the company signed 60 new deals under the Sheraton, Le Méridien and Westin brands. In its mid-market brands, which include Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element, Starwood signed 77 new deals last year. Four Points by Sheraton will see 20 new hotels openings, while Element will open four new properties in 2014.