Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will open 20 new hotels in China in 2013. Having doubled its footprint here in the last three years, Starwood has 120 hotels open and more than 100 in the pipeline, making China the company’s second largest hotel market behind only the US, and its fastest growing.
The company will open one new hotel every 20 days, and 70 percent of its pipeline of new hotels under construction and in development are in second and third tier cities.
Starwood’s presence in China dates back to 1985 when the Sheraton Great Wall Beijing debuted as the first international hotel in the People’s Republic of China. Today, Starwood is the largest high-end hotel operator in China with more hotels here than competitors Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt combined. In 2012 Starwood opened 25 hotels and signed 36 new hotel deals – a record number of openings and deals.
China has over 170 cities with population over one million. Adding to Starwood’s presence in China’s major cities, the company is focused on expansion in second and third tier cities. Starwood’s Sheraton, Westin and Le Meridien brands continue to open in second tier cities. Starwood’s Four Points by Sheraton and Aloft brands, meanwhile, fit in newly developed high-tech, industry and university parks as well as near high speed railway stations and cities in early stages of urbanization, in addition to ongoing expansion in established markets.
For the luxury hotels throughout China, Starwood is also eyeing double its luxury footprint. W Hotels, which just opened the W Guangzhou earlier this year, will open new flagships in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as hotels in, Suzhou, Changsha and Chengdu. St. Regis, Starwood’s ultra-luxury brand, will build on its presence in China in markets including Beijing, Shenzhen and Sanya with new hotels in Changsha, Chengdu, Lijiang, Qingshui Bay, Zhuhai and Nanjing while Starwood’s Luxury Collection will expand in Dalian, Hangzhou, Nanning, Xiamen, Nanjing and Suzhou.