The Starwood group of luxury hotels has just opened its 100th hotel in China, and it does not plan to stop there. It is expected that a further 15 hotels will be opened during 2012. The Chinese market is expected to be one of the biggest for the hotel group over the next few years as the luxury hotels market opens up there.
Starwood began its Chinese portfolio in 1985 with the Great Wall Sheraton Hotel, and the market there is second only to the US for the group. Starwood is currently the leading operator of luxury hotels in the world. The Sheraton and Westin brands are those that are growing rapidly in the country. A third of the group’s hotels in China will be under the Sheraton brand and it is to open one of the largest hotels in the world in September. The Sheraton Macao hotel will have nearly 4,000 rooms and will have facilities including three restaurants, two swimming pools, and plenty of other leisure amenities.
The Westin brand is expected to add another four luxury hotels this year, making a total of 18 hotels. These will open in cities such as Xiamen, Taiyuan and Ningbo. The Starwood group is opening new hotels in other parts of Asia this year, although 70% of the new portfolio will be in China. The travel industry is expecting that China will be instrumental in the development of new markets over the next few years, as well as seeing increased travel opportunities for Chinese citizens to other parts of the world.
Author – Andrew White