MOSCOW – August 23, 2012 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide,
Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announces plans to expand its portfolio throughout
Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Over the next three
years, Starwood will more than double its portfolio in the region with seven
new hotels, including the debut of the Aloft brand in Russia with the new Aloft
St. Petersburg, a deal that was announced today. Emphasizing the
importance of the region as one of the world’s fastest-growing hotel and travel
markets, CEO Frits van Paasschen and members of Starwood’s senior executive
team visited Russia this week, travelling to key growth markets, including
Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don.
“As one of the world’s fastest-growing outbound travel markets, Russia represents a great opportunity for us,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “With a rising middle class, growing disposable income, an affinity for luxury brands and huge pent-up demand for foreign travel, Russia is emblematic of the growth we are seeing in regions around the world and key to our global growth plans.”
Last year, Starwood opened three new hotels in Russia and CIS, marking a number of key milestones, including the highly successful debut of the W brand in Russia with the opening of W St. Petersburg and the entrance of Starwood into Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
“Moscow has more billionaires than any other city in the world and yet Russia is seriously under-hoteled, with only 28 high-end hotels,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development & Acquisition, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Russia and CIS offer tremendous growth opportunities, especially within markets that do not have major internationally-branded hotels. We plan to expand our brands throughout the region in the years to come with development partners who have a proven track record of success and are looking for a new and exciting growth vehicle.”
Starwood Continues Expansion
With more than 70% of the world’s economic growth coming from fast-growing markets over the next few years, Starwood is focused on expansion in developing markets such as Russia as well as key emerging markets including Ukraine and Tajikistan.
As part of this strategy, Starwood is investing in development, sales and expanding its Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program in Russia, and will open seven new hotels across Russia and CIS in the next three years. Key highlights include:
Sheraton First-Mover Advantage
While Starwood is committed to the growth of all of its brands throughout
Russia and CIS, the company’s most iconic brand – Sheraton Hotels & Resorts
– plays a critical role in its development strategy.
“With the largest footprint among Starwood’s portfolio and one of the world’s most recognized hotel brands, Sheraton is often the brand that allows Starwood to enter key markets,” said Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “Nowhere is Sheraton’s ‘first-mover advantage’ more evident than in Russia and CIS where the Sheraton brand is driving our growth in key Russian and Ukrainian markets, such as Perm, Rostov-on-Don and Kiev.”
Starwood CEO and Senior Executives Visit Russia
Underscoring the importance of the region as one of Starwood’s fastest-growing hotel and travel markets, van Paasschen and seven members of Starwood’s senior executive team visited Russia this week. On the trip, Starwood executives met with hotel owners, customers and investors in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Sochi with the goal to further understand, appreciate and ultimately leverage different cultural perspectives and approaches to business.
Starwood currently operates five hotels in Russia and CIS, including: Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Sheraton Palace Hotel, both in Moscow, and the recently opened W St. Petersburg in Russia, Sheraton Baku Airport in Azerbaijan and Four Points by Sheraton Zaporozhye, Ukraine.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,112 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)