Starwood to Double Presence in Russia and CIS Countries in Three Years
By James Ruggia
August 23, 2012 12:07 PM
Over the next three years, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. will more than double its portfolio throughout Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) with seven new hotels, including the debut of the Aloft brand in Russia with the new Aloft St. Petersburg. Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen and members of the company’s senior executive team visited Russia this week, traveling to key growth markets, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don. “As one of the world’s fastest-growing outbound travel markets, Russia represents a great opportunity for us,” said Van Paasschen. “With a rising middle class, growing disposable income, an affinity for luxury brands and huge pent-up demand for foreign travel, Russia is emblematic of the growth we are seeing in regions around the world and key to our global growth plans.”
Last year, Starwood opened three new hotels in Russia and CIS, marking a number of key milestones, including the debut of the W brand in Russia with the opening of W St. Petersburg and the entrance of Starwood into Ukraine and Azerbaijan. “Moscow has more billionaires than any other city in the world and yet Russia is seriously under-hoteled, with only 28 high-end hotels,” said Simon Turner, president of global development and acquisition for Starwood. “Russia and CIS offer tremendous growth opportunities, especially within markets that do not have major internationally-branded hotels. We plan to expand our brands throughout the region in the years to come with development partners who have a proven track record of success and are looking for a new and exciting growth vehicle.”
With more than 70 percent of the world’s economic growth coming from fast-growing markets over the next few years, Starwood is focused on expansion in developing markets such as Russia as well as key emerging markets including Ukraine and Tajikistan. In 2013, Starwood will debut in Kiev with the opening of Sheraton Kiev Olympiysky, Ukraine. Starwood will enter Tajikistan in 2013 with the opening of a new Sheraton hotel in the country’s capital city of Dushanbe. Starwood’s second Sheraton in Moscow will open at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in 2013. This new 10-story hotel will be part of the Skypoint Business Park, located 800 meters from the international terminal of Sheremetyevo Airport.
Starwood will debut in three emerging markets with the openings of a Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Kaluga and a Sheraton hotel in Rostov-on-Don in 2014, followed by the opening of Sheraton Perm in 2015. Russia’s first Aloft hotel will open in St. Petersburg. Starwood currently operates five hotels in Russia and CIS, including: Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Sheraton Palace Hotel, both in Moscow, and the recently opened W St. Petersburg in Russia, Sheraton Baku Airport in Azerbaijan and Four Points by Sheraton Zaporozhye, Ukraine.