In order to further ramp up its presence in Europe, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT) is on the verge of launching 50 new hotels in the region by 2018. Moreover, Starwood is also undertaking several renovation initiatives to improve the efficacy of its existing hotels in Europe.
As per the expansion plan, Starwood will unveil nine new hotels in Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Hungary, Greece, Switzerland and Turkey in 2013.
The company aims to augment its Russian and the CIS portfolio by four times through launching 11 new hotels by 2017 as the demand continues to increase.
However, the European market is not devoid of competition. To tap the growing potential, many other hoteliers including Marriott International Inc. (MAR) and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (WYN) are also making their presence felt in the market.
In a concerted endeavor to strengthen its full-service, luxury brand European portfolio, Starwood has planned to invest nearly $200 million to refurbish some of its most renowned Luxury Collection hotels. In addition with this, Starwood has also undertaken a brand conversion strategy.
Starwood will re-launch Hotel Prince de Galles, Paris after its restoration in May 2013. Moreover, the company has also recently rebranded various hotels such as Metropol Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Hotel Bristol in Warsaw, Poland and Hotel King George in Athens, Greece.
Starwood’s mid-market brands are also extending their operations in Europe through various deals and agreements. Currently, 50% of hotels within the company’s European development pipeline belong to the mid-market brands.
Starwood will introduce four hotels under its mid-market brands in various European destinations including UK/Ireland, Benelux, Italy, France, Russia, Poland, Turkey and Germany within 2015. The company is expecting to enhance its mid-market portfolio by two times in 2015.
Starwood currently owns and operates 163 hotels across 32 countries in Europe. These openings will reflect a 30% additional increase in the company’s existing European coverage.
Starwood currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another hotel stock worth a look is Choice Hotels International Inc. (CHH) which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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