Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
) high-end brands, W, recently made its debut in mainland China
with the opening of a hotel in Guangzhou. Owned and developed by
real estate developer, KWG Property Holdings, this W property
also marks the 44th hotel of the brand worldwide.
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China is all set to bring about a recovery in global tourism and
by 2020 it is expected to be the world's largest travel
destination. Starwood looks forward to tap this opportunity. In
2011, Starwood even shifted its management team to China to
understand the market more closely through interactions with
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company is now scrutinizing its
opportunities in various untapped but highly populated Chinese
cities. We believe, the opening of the latest 317 room-property
is a strategic fit as Guangzhou is the third largest Chinese city
and the largest city in southern China. Guangzhou is a key
transportation and trading hub of the country, which boosts
business travel in the area.
Besides, the property is in close proximity to some of the chief
cultural attractions in the country and will likely serve leisure
travelers. Several other hoteliers including
Wyndham Worldwide Corp.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Marriott International Inc.
) have a presence in this region.
Coming to the brand, Starwood set a new trend in hotel designs
with its W brand and hopes to have 60 W hotels by the end of
2015. The brand was launched in 1998 in New York. The W brand of
hotels, aimed at the young, have a high growth trajectory and are
currently present in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia
Pacific as well as Middle East and Africa.
In order to further ramp up its presence in the rapidly growing
emerging market of Asia, Starwood remains on the verge of
launching 20 new hotels under its W brand in the region over the
next five years. These openings will translate into a twofold
increase in W's Asian portfolio. Apart from Guangzhou, Starwood
intends to launch the brand in several other Chinese cities like
Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha and Suzhou by 2018.