Starwood to open 14 Westin hotels this year

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has announced plans to open 14 new Westin Hotels this year in various parts of the world.

This year's openings span China, Greece, Japan, India, Mexico, the United States, and Canada - including newly opened The Westin Wall Centre in Richmond, Vancouver. Other 2010 openings include The Westin Mumbai Garden City in India; The Westin Nanjing in Shanghai, China; The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino in Messinia, Greece; The Westin Austin at the Domain in Austin, Texas; and The Westin Sendai in Sendai, Japan.

In 2010, Starwood will debut the Westin brand in Peru with The Westin Libertador, Lima and expand the brand's footprint in Latin and South America with its fifth hotel in Mexico and its first in Mexico City, The Westin Santa Fe. In the next three years, Westin will open two additional hotels in Mexico and its first in Panama.

"The Westin brand has significant new-build opportunities in numerous emerging and fast developing economies," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood.

"Within more mature markets like North America and Europe, however, we are seeing - and expect to continue to see - more, quality conversion opportunities realized as transaction activity increases. Westin is a high value-add conversion brand, and many owners and investors seek opportunities to enhance a property's performance by upgrading to the Westin brand. Starwood is taking a pragmatic approach to conversions, but will of course be vigilant in preserving the brand integrity that has been a key driver of its success."

As business and leisure travel to and from emerging markets increases, Westin is establishing a leading presence in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Starwood's wellness-inspired brand, Westin, will introduce its healthy-living initiatives to travellers in new cities, and when travellers from Asia and other developing destinations increase their travel internationally, they are likely to stay with familiar brands they know from home.

"The Westin brand is at a pivotal point in its life cycle, with an unprecedented opportunity for international growth," said Nancy London, vice-president of Westin Hotels. "Today, the Westin brand is primarily in North America, with 70% of our portfolio in Canada and the United States. But looking ahead in 2010, Westin is poised to share its positive lifestyle messaging with travellers across the globe with new properties in China, India and Latin America."

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