Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced that its Sheraton brand will open seven more hotels in China before the end of September. News of these openings coincides with a month-long relocation of Starwood’s global headquarters to Shanghai.
In the next two years, nearly half of all new Starwood hotels expected to open in China will fly the Sheraton flag. This summer, Sheraton will open its second hotel in Beijing, its second in Xi’an, and its first in Chongqing, Yantai, Guangzhou, Zhenjiang, Wanning and Hangzhou. This surge in new hotel openings will grow the Sheraton brand’s portfolio to 42 hotels in China by year-end, moving Starwood closer to its goal of operating 100 hotels in China by the end of 2012.
“The remarkable success of Sheraton in China continues to drive Starwood’s growth and widen its position as the country’s leading operator of four and five star hotels,” said Hoyt Harper, Global Brand Leader for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. “Sheraton is focused on meeting the needs of Chinese travelers within China, as well as across our portfolio of more than 400 hotels around the world.”
China is the largest source of new loyalty scheme members for Starwood, with a 71% jump in Chinese enrollment in Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) last year. Starwood’s involvement in China dates back to 1985 with the debut of The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel in Beijing – the first internationally-branded hotel in the country.
“The rich legacy of the Sheraton brand in China has given Starwood a considerable head start in this fertile market, where we now have 74 hotels flying eight of Starwood’s nine brand flags and another 90 in development,” said Miguel Ko, Chairman & President of Starwood’s Asia Pacific Division, a Chinese native who began his career with Starwood in 1979. “We attribute our success in China to our long-standing native Chinese teams plus our strong relationships with local owners who recognise the tremendous benefits of joining the Starwood network.”
The new hotels opening this summer comprise the 491-room Sheraton Xian North City Hotel, 441-room Sheraton Beijing Dongcheng Hotel, 289-room Sheraton Zhenjiang Hotel 307-room Sheraton Shenzhou Peninsula Resort in Wanning, 383-room Sheraton Hangzhou Wetland Park Resort, 445-room Sheraton Guangzhou Hotel (pictured above), and the 100-room Sheraton Guangzhou Huadu Resort. Between them, the seven properties will also feature nearly 10,000 square metres of meeting and event space.