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Starwood Hotels’ global growth continues - 74 hotel openings in 2013 an increased deal signings

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced it opened 74 new hotels in 2013, representing approximately 16,200 rooms in 22 countries, strengthening its global lead and expanding its footprint particularly in developing markets. The company signed 152 new hotel agreements in 2013, marking the fourth consecutive year of increased signings and the highest number of new hotel deals signed since 2007. Starwood expects another strong year of global growth in 2014, with hotel openings and deal signings across all nine brands in more countries than ever before through organic growth.

“There is a global travel revolution underway, and the secular trends of rising wealth, rapid urbanization and increasing digital interconnectivity make us as confident as ever about demand for high-end travel,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “As the largest high-end hotel company in the world, with a penchant for innovation, an unmatched portfolio of design-led brands, global properties, and a valuable pipeline, Starwood is well positioned to benefit disproportionately from these seemingly unstoppable growth trends.”

In 2013, Starwood signed a total of 152 new hotel management and franchise agreements, which represents an increase of 16 percent over 2012 signings levels. The company also signed 75 contract renewals, up nearly 34 percent from the previous year.

“Consistent, sustainable high-quality portfolio growth in both mature and emerging markets led to another strong year of openings, incremental hotel agreements and the highest number of contract renewals in our company’s history,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Our highly sought-after brands, backed by the collective strength of our global platform and experienced, local teams continues to give us an advantage and sets us apart from the competition, allowing us to deliver unmatched value to our hotel owners.”

Starwood has the largest high-end hotel portfolio of any of its competitors outside the United States, with nearly twice as many rooms as Marriott or Hilton, and nearly four times as many rooms as Hyatt in emerging markets. In line with macroeconomic trends, nearly 75 percent of the company’s development pipeline and 60% of the 2013 signings were in fast-growing markets, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Colombia and Saudi Arabia.

van Paasschen continued: “Globalization continues to spur economic growth, infrastructure development and, for us, footprint expansion. 2014 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. We have a balanced approach to development, with continued focus on growth in the world’s fastest growing economies, and we are also seeing significant opportunities in established markets where conversion momentum continues and record low supply and growing demand are driving growth.”

Approximately 40% of Starwood’s 2013 signings were in developed markets, with 13 conversions that signed and opened within the year. Conversions will continue to fuel growth in North America with increased momentum in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Europe.

Turner added: “We continue to look for the right partners, creating the right properties, in the right places, and our agile development approach allows us to adapt our growth strategies based on specific geographies and brand needs for both new development and conversions. Last year, we signed the most conversions in any one year since 2006, showing the increased demand for our brands and our flexibility, enabling our partners to maximize the value of their assets quickly and cost-effectively.”

Starwood is also seeing an increased interest in adaptive reuse projects, particularly for its Aloft brand. The company opened three such projects this year: Aloft Orlando Downtown, Aloft Tulsa Downtown and Aloft Miami – Brickell, in addition to signing Aloft New Orleans. Starwood will open another three adaptive reuse Aloft hotels in 2014 with Aloft Liverpool, Aloft Detroit, and Aloft Tampa Downtown, as the company continues to look for opportunities to use this approach across its brands in cities throughout the world.

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