Starwood Hotels & Resorts ended 2015 with 220 new hotel management and franchise agreements, a 26-percent increase over 2014. This marks the sixth consecutive year of increased signings and the most incremental signings in the business' history. The company also opened 105 hotels in 2015, representing approximately 22,500 rooms in 30 countries, the highest number of openings in its history.
“Starwood Hotels & Resorts had the highest number of both signings and organic openings in any single year in the company’s history,” Simon Turner, president of global development, said in a statement, noting that the company saw balanced growth across both mature and emerging markets and across all brands, with a notable increase in the number of conversions. Approximately one-third of Starwood's openings in 2015 were conversions.
The select-service or mid-market segment drove last year’s signings, accounting for slightly more than 50 percent. While Four Points by Sheraton continues to maintain the company’s largest pipeline, Aloft saw solid growth momentum with a 65 percent increase in signings over the prior year.
At the same time, Starwood lengthened its lead in the luxury and lifestyle segment, with 29 deals across its St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels brands, an increase of almost 40 percent over the prior year. New hotels are opening in Dubai, Maldives, Punta de Mita and Shanghai, following flagship openings last year in Amsterdam, Mumbai, and Prague.
In the upper-upscale segment, Sheraton, Starwood’s largest and most global brand, saw signings increase by more than 40 percent compared to 2014. The company’s newest brand, Tribute Portfolio, which launched in Q2 2015, finished the year with 16 hotels either operating or with signed agreements.
Starwood had its strongest year of organic openings, and reached the following milestones in 2015:
700th hotel in The Americas
250th hotel in Europe, Africa and the Middle East
300th hotel in Asia Pacific
300th Mid-Market hotel
200th Four Points by Sheraton hotel
100th Aloft hotel
100th The Luxury Collection hotel
150th hotel in Greater China