On the heels of the International Luxury Travel Market in Shanghai, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced that its luxury portfolio, comprised of the St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels brands, will open four new hotels in China by the end of 2014, including The St. Regis Chengdu; The Azure Qiantang, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hangzhou; The Castle Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dalian; and W Beijing - Chang’an.
Exterior rendering of the W Beijing - Chang'an (Photo: Business Wire)“The rapid growth of Starwood’s luxury brands in China reflects a robust demand for high-end hospitality from an increasingly affluent market, where domestic travel continues to thrive,” said Paul James, Global Brand Leader, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels Worldwide. “This year, we are thrilled to open four luxury hotels in distinct Chinese destinations for a new generation of global guests, who are more often traveling across our luxury portfolio.” Robust Demand for World-Class Luxury Accommodations This year, Starwood is on track to open more than 20 hotels across its nine brands in the region, including four openings from its luxury portfolio. In the past three years, Starwood doubled its luxury footprint in China, and the figure is expected to double again by the end of 2015. W Hotels, which made a landmark debut in mainland China with W Guangzhou last year, will open its new, highly anticipated flagship property in Beijing this year with W Beijing - Chang’an. Further plans to debut the W brand in China include: Changsha, Chengdu, Macau, Shanghai and Suzhou. St. Regis will build on its well-established presence in China with the opening of The St. Regis Chengdu later this summer, along with new hotels in Changsha, Haikou, Lijiang, Macau, Nanjing, Sanya and Zhuhai in the next three years. In addition to The Castle Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Dalian and The Azure Qiantang, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Hangzhou, Starwood plans to expand the presence of The Luxury Collection brand in Nanning, Xiamen, Nanjing and Suzhou. Starwood’s growing portfolio of luxury brands is well aligned with the demand for internationally branded, luxurious accommodations from an increasingly affluent Chinese market, where domestic travel continues to grow. China’s inbound travel market also fuels this demand. The country currently ranks third in the world’s most popular destinations, following France and the United States, as reported by United Nations World Tourism Organization. In an attempt to attract more foreign travellers, China now features eight cities with a 72-hour visa-free policy, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Shenyang and Xi’an.