Starwood to Ramp Up Expansion in South Asia as Demand Grows



Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:HOT) signed 10 new deals on Wednesday in an effort to expand its footprint in India and Bangladesh while entering new markets in the rapidly growing South Asian market.

The Stamford, Ct.-based operator of the St. Regis and Westin currently operates 34 hotels in the region with another 24 in the pipeline. It is aiming to have 100 hotels under operation, development and management contracts signed by 2015.

“Already our fourth largest market, India is comfortably poised to be second only to China in terms of our future global growth,” said Stephen Ho, President Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts.

He called India a still “under-hoteled” market and said the rising demand is currently exceeding current supply and will likely remain that way for at least the next three to four years.

In addition to expanding in its existing markets, Starwood said it will also make its foray in new markets like Sri Lanka with plans to open Sheraton-branded resorts in Colombo, the country’s largest city.

Meanwhile, in an effort to meet an appetite for luxury, Starwood said it will introduce the W and St. Regis brands in India.

Follow Jennifer Booton on Twitter at @Jbooton