In a concerted endeavor to strengthen its global portfolio,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (
declared the debut of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts brand in
Africa with The St. Regis Mauritius Resort. The opening also
marked the 30th St. Regis hotel worldwide.
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St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, the classic luxurious brand from
Starwood, is committed towards delivering unique experiences to
travelers since it first opened in New York over a century ago.
The brand has many hotel openings slated over the next few years
in Changsha, Chengdu, Kuala Lumpur, Lijiang, Nanjing, New Delhi,
Zhuhai, Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo and Dubai.
Mauritius has been one of the world's top luxury tourist
destinations backed by pleasant climate, natural and man-made
attractions. The tourism industry contributes to around 11% of
the GDP of the island nation. The Mauritian government expects
tourist arrivals to increase 1.6% year over year to 980,000 in
2012. The Bank of Mauritius expects tourism revenues to ascend 1%
to 43.2 billion Mauritian rupees in 2012. These factors justify
Starwood's decision of bringing St. Regis to the island.
Located on the southwestern tip of Mauritius, The St. Regis
Mauritius Resort is in Le Morne Brabant. The resort complements
the exotic beauty of the iconic Le Morne Brabant Mountain in the
peninsula. Comprising 172 guestrooms and suites, it provides
spectacular view of the Indian Ocean and signature brand
amenities. It also boasts the rich cultural heritage of Mauritius
The new property follows the recent St. Regis brand openings
across the world in last 12 months. These include The St. Regis
Sanya Yalong Bay Resort and The St. Regis Shenzhen in China; The
St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in U.S.; The St. Regis Doha and The
St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi in the Middle East.
Africa has been among the key markets of Starwood. The company
currently has around 38 hotels in 15 African countries. In order
to fortify its African presence, the company expects to increase
its portfolio by 30% in the next three years. This includes a
hotel under the St. Regis brand slated to open in Cairo in 2014.
Africa has an emerging tourism industry with tourism being a
major revenue driver for many nations in the continent. According
to United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the tourism
industry in Africa is growing at an average rate of 7.2%
annually. According to UNWTO, Africa is seen to lead world
tourism growth in 2012, followed by Asia-pacific, the Americas
The demand for world class accommodation in the country caught
the attention of Starwood. However, the company should be wary of
its major competitor --
Marriott International, Inc. (
- who plans to open around 10 hotels in Africa by 2015.
We currently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on Starwood.
Also, it carries a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).