Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced that, with a continued focus on growth in Latin America, the company aims to have 100 hotels under operation and development in Latin America by the end of 2013. Currently, Starwood has a strong footprint of 71 hotels in 13 countries, and a robust development pipeline of 20 hotels with a total 3,300 new rooms underway.
Building on its aggressive growth strategy in the region, in the last two years, Starwood opened 12 hotels, including the Westin Panama, which opened in January, bringing its current portfolio to 71 hotels with 15,300 rooms representing 33 percent growth since 2007. In the remainder of 2013, Starwood expects to open seven more hotels with a total of 1,300 rooms, covering four brands across five countries.
Currently, the company operates eight unique brands throughout the region, including W Hotels, St. Regis and The Luxury Collection, which make up the company’s luxury portfolio; Westin, Le Méridien and Sheraton, in the upper-upscale segment; and fast-growing mid-market or “specialty select” brands, Aloft and Four Points by Sheraton.
“In the last five years, our footprint in Latin America has expanded considerably to fulfill the increasing demand in business and leisure travel that has resulted from rising wealth, global businesses and a digitally connected world,” said Osvaldo Librizzi, Co-President of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Americas. “We believe that demand for travel will continue to increase in Latin America and to meet that demand, we aim to have 100 hotels under operation, development and management contracts by the end of 2013.”“We have seen the growth of all of our brands across the entire spectrum of destinations, including important gateway cities, secondary markets and resorts, reflecting the diversity and maturity of the market,” said Ricardo Suarez, Vice-president of Acquisitions and Development for Starwood Latin America. “There is still a great deal of opportunity, in world-class travel destinations like Mexico and Costa Rica, under-hoteled markets such as Brazil, top performers like Chile and Peru, and foreign investment favorites such as Colombia and Panama. We believe that we are best positioned to capitalize on the many opportunities in the market, given the affinity to our brands and our know-how of the region where we’ve been present for more than 40 years.”