Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is beginning the new year by looking back on its 2014 openings, of which there were 74.
According to the Financial Express, this represented roughly 15,000 rooms in 26 countries. The company also signed 175 new management and franchise agreements last year, 15 percent more than in 2013 (the fifth consecutive year Starwood increased signings, and the most new deals made in a single year for the company since 2007).
The company's openings were steady year-round, and just before 2014 closed out, Starwood opened two Sheraton hotels in the Yunnan Province and Henan Province of China -- the 326-room Sheraton Xishuangbanna and the 361-room Sheraton Zhengzhou, Zacks reported. In early December, Starwood also expanded into Latin America with the opening of the third W hotel in the region, the W Bogota in Colombia, which is owned by Terranum and operated by Starwood.
“Our balanced growth approach continued in 2014 with consistent, organic signings across all nine of our brands,” Simon Turner, president of Global development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, told Financial Express. “Looking ahead, emerging markets remain a focus for us, but recovering economic conditions and increased availability of financing have also led to strong growth in North America and Europe."
Starwood's planned milestones for 2015 include opening its 300th hotel in the Asia Pacific region, its 150th hotel in China, its 90th hotel in Africa and the Middle East, its 175th luxury property, 750th upper upscale hotel and 300th mid-market hotel. Starwood also announced plans towards the end of last year to open its first Luxury Collection property in Japan by March 2015, which will be located on the grounds of the Tenryuji Temple, a World Heritage site.