Starwood Hotels Celebrates 100-Hotel Mark in China By Announcing 100 More

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has recently announced that it has reached an important milestone regarding its Chinese endeavors.

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

Shanghai, China—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has recently announced that it has reached an important milestone regarding its Chinese endeavors. The organization currently has 103 hotels open and in operation in its second largest market outside the United States, a tally that will be doubled in the near future. Currently there are 100 signed hotel deals on standby for Greater China, the company announced at its Asia Pacific Investor Day, held at the Sheraton Shanghai Hongku Hotel.

2012 has been a busy year for the hotel owner and operator, with 11 hotels already opened in the Chinese market. Starwood also has plans to unveil another 13 hospitality properties by the end of the year. As the company plans to double its footprint in China, the brand’s success is attributed to its pioneer-like opening of Beijing’s The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel back in 1985. An aggressive expansion policy into the growing market and the country’s accelerated economic development have contributed to the 100+ hotels Starwood is now involved in and the planned hundred that will follow.

Simon Turner, Starwood’s President of Global Development mentioned the fact that the operator currently has “more high-end hotels in China today than any of our competitors,” and went on to underline the strengthening of that position through “the record number of new hotels we have in our pipeline.”

Leading the charge for the hospitality firm’s Asian market growth is the Sheraton Hotels brand, which, according to current projections, is set to reach 90 hotels by 2016 in Greater China alone. Furthermore, the cities of Changbaishan, Dalian, Huzhou, Hefei, Jiaozhou, Fuzhou and Macao are set to each receive a Sheraton hotel by the end of 2012. The Sheraton Macao, Cotai Central, will be the area’s largest hotel and will feature a number of 3,863 rooms. A September opening of the first phase of the massive development will be followed by the reaching of full operational status by the end of Q1 of 2013. 160,000 square feet of meeting space along with an additional 53,000 square feet available in the Cotai Central complex offer up plentiful event space at the hotel while leisure facilities will be ensured by three restaurants, poolside cafes and the world’s largest Sheraton Club.

Starwood’s Westin and Le Meridien brands will also be subjected to expansions in the Chinese market with 11 and eight facilities respectively. Shanghai, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Chongqing, Xiamen, Shimei Bay, Sheshan, Taipei and Hong Kong are on the list for the two hotel labels.

With the company now nearing a 30-year involvement in China, a network that ensures the streamlining of the employee recruitment process has been effectively established, with 38,000 associates currently employed in Greater China. Additionally, based on current projections, the company will continue its hiring policy by creating around 10,000 local jobs per year as it continues its 23 hotels/year expansion rate. Starwood figures indicate that the number of Chinese associates with managerial level activities has reached 2,577.

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