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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced that, building on its 2012 momentum with the most hotel deals signed since before the global economic crisis, it anticipates a strong year of openings and new hotel agreements signings in 2013. Over the last five years, Starwood has cultivated a quality pipeline of new hotels with well-capitalized, experienced owners for continued growth around the globe.
“Rising wealth, increasingly global businesses and a digitally connected world are creating unprecedented demand for travel and new travel patterns, and we continue to be as bullish as ever about our long-term growth,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO. “Whether it’s manufacturing in Vietnam, mineral resources from Nigeria, or outbound tourism from Brazil, Russia, India or China, globalization is spurring economic development and creating many exciting expansion opportunities for our business.”
Simon Turner, President of Global Development, said: “After a strong year in 2012 of openings, deal signings and increased owner interest in development, we are entering 2013 well-positioned for continued footprint growth in both emerging and developed markets. Our long-established global presence remains a competitive advantage, and our local teams provide know-how and strong relationships paving the way for future growth and the continued expansion of our nine brands. In 2012, Starwood signed a total of 131 new hotel management and franchise agreements which represented an increase of 17 percent over 2011 signings levels, including 31 conversions, 12 of which opened during 2012.”
Consistent with macroeconomic growth trends, nearly two –thirds of Starwood’s new hotels in 2013 will open in fast-growing markets. Starwood plans to open its first property in Tajikistan, while also expanding further in such important markets as Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Hungary, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, as well as perennial growth markets like China and India. The company will also continue to focus on identifying the right partners for continued development in Brazil, Russia and throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Asia remains a high priority market for Starwood, accounting for approximately one quarter of Starwood’s existing hotel rooms and over half of Starwood’s pipeline.