Starwood seeking new African opportunities

Hotel News - 31/12/2012

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Hotel conglomerate Starwood Hotels & Resorts continues to search Africa for new property locations.

The news comes amid the company’s effort to have at least 100 hotels in operation on the African continent by the end of the decade, nearly trebling its current presence in the fast-growing market.

According to Starwood chief Frits van Paasschen, the majority of the brand’s growth in the next several years is to stem from emerging markets. Current plans will see his company – which operates the Westin, Le Meridian and Sheraton brands – launch new facilities in Libya, Mauritius, Senegal, Algeria, Libya, Nigeria and Egypt by 2015. And now industry experts say the firm is “scouring” the continent for additional opportunities, notably in places like Kenya, Angola, Zanzibar Rwanda and Ghana.

Van Paasschen said in a recent interview that the company is also putting significant focus on Russia, noting that the country’s wealth is growing significantly due to the export of oil. He added that Moscow has more billionaires than any other city worldwide, but that the city has fewer luxury hotels than only a few blocks in New York.

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