Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® (NYSE:HOT) continues to strengthen its position as a leading global hotel operator in Africa with the signing of three new Sheraton hotels, marking the entrance of the company into Mauritania, Guinea and South Sudan by 2017. With these signings, Starwood is on track to increase its African portfolio by over 30% with more than 15 new hotels set to open over the next five years. This growth will add more than 5,000 guest rooms to the continent and create thousands of local employment opportunities.
Emphasizing the importance of the region as one of the world’s fastest-growing hotel and travel markets, Chief Executive Officer Frits van Paasschen and members of Starwood’s senior executive team just returned from visiting Africa for the fourth time in the last year. The team met with hotel owners, customers, government officials and investors in Rwanda, Guinea and South Sudan as the company remains focused on increasing its footprint in Africa.
“Africa is home to many of the world’s fastest growing economies, and there could not be a better time to expand our footprint here,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “With increasing stability, vastly improving infrastructure, rapid economic growth and a booming mobile industry, this is Africa’s shining moment and we are committed to being a part of it.”
Sheraton’s First-Mover AdvantageWith the largest footprint among Starwood’s portfolio and one of the world’s most recognized hotel brands, Sheraton is often the first international hotel brand to enter a market, paving the way for the introduction of other Starwood brands. This holds true in Africa where Starwood entered the market with the opening of Sheraton Cairo in 1971. The signings of Sheraton Nouakchott (Mauritania), Sheraton Conakry (Guinea) and Sheraton Juba (South Sudan) further emphasize the strength of the Sheraton brand in driving Starwood’s growth. These hotels bring the Sheraton pipeline in Africa to six new hotels joining three currently in development in Dakar (Senegal), Annaba (Algeria) and Tripoli (Libya). “Our Sheraton portfolio is stronger than ever following a highly successful, global brand revitalization over the past several years, and today’s announcement further underscores the brand’s record-breaking growth as it stays on track to open its 500 th hotel in 2016,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “Our development strategy is focused on working with the right partners on the right deals in the right locations. We are proud to enter these long-standing partnerships with three landmark agreements to grow Starwood’s portfolio in key markets throughout Africa.” The Sheraton Conakry Hotel (2015) Starwood is set to enter the Republic of Guinea with the opening of the Sheraton Conakry Hotel in 2015. Owned by Palma Guinea S.A, the hotel will mark a milestone as it becomes the first IFC green-certified hotel in Africa. Sheraton Conakry Hotel will be located in the exclusive Kipe district of the capital, and offer 282 guest rooms, all-day dining and speciality restaurants, a lobby bar as well as an outdoor swimming pool with a bar and grill. Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Conakry International Airport, the hotel will also feature more than 1,100 square meters of modern meeting and function space, including a ballroom for special events, and is set to become the gathering place of choice for global business travellers.