Starwood Hotels & Resorts plans to open 49 new Sheraton hotels in 15 countries over the next three years, as the world's No 8 hotel operator seeks to boost its international presence.
About 90 per cent of the new hotels will be outside North America, including 28 in China, said Hoyt Harper, Senior Vice-President for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts.
Starwood will open 17 Sheraton hotels in China in 2010 alone, Harper said. Hotels are also slated for the United States, India, Taiwan and Poland. "We're leaving no part of the world untouched," said Harper.
More than 40 per cent of Starwood's hotels fall under the Sheraton banner. The expansion of the Sheraton hotel chain was done in concert with more than 40 different developers around the world and will cost about $4 billion (Dh14.7bn).
Developers working with Starwood will foot the lion's share of that bill – roughly 95 per cent, Harper said.
Starwood has been revamping the Sheraton brand for the past three years. From 2007 to 2009, the company cut loose 42 hotels bearing the Sheraton name for not meeting brand standards.
Earlier this month, Starwood announced the Sheraton Manhattan near Times Square would lose its flag. As of April 1, the property will be renamed The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel.
Another four or five hotels could exit the brand this year, Harper said. He added the company was mulling other hotel deals. "Between now and the end of 2010, there will be other opportunities that we are keen to take up," he said.
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