Currently, China is one of the largest and most dynamic markets for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT). The demand for hotels in the international market is greater than in the U.S. and the pace of recovery is particularly fast in the underserved Asia-Pacific region. Recently, Starwood Hotels announced the opening of three hotels in China, one in Bijie City in Guizhou Province, another in Hebei Province and a resort in Huizhou in Guangdong.
The hotel in Bijie City has been opened under the Four Points by Sheraton brand, the first in the city. The hotel is located close to the city's business center on Dongsheng Road and Qixingguan District Government offices. The hotel is in close proximity to Bijie's coach station, airport and the city's largest shopping mall. It is well equipped with huge meeting rooms, a fitness center, various dining options and other amenities.
The Langfang Chaobai River Hotel in Hebei Province under the Sheraton brand is the second Starwood hotel in the Province. Like the one in the Guizhou Province, this hotel also has huge meeting rooms, a fitness center, and a wide range of amenities.
The Sheraton Bailuhu Resort, Huizhou is the second Sheraton hotel in the city. The resort is a comfortable drive from the Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport as well as the Hong Kong International Airport.
More than half of Starwood’s properties are situated outside the U.S., which gives the company wide international exposure, unlike any of its peers. This string of openings will help the company to achieve its target of opening 500 hotels worldwide by 2016. With the opening of Sheraton Shantou Hotel in China in Nov 2013, the company had reached the 100th hotel milestone in the Asia-Pacific region.
We believe that the strategic locations of these hotels would boost guest count. The company presently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks worth considering in the hotel industry include Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. (HMIN), Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. (OEH) and Marriott International, Inc. (MAR). While Home Inns & Hotels and Orient-Express Hotels carry a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy), Marriott International holds a Zacks Rank #2.
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