Starwood planning to increase its presence in Russia

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is planning to increase its presence in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), one of the world’s fastest-growing hotel and travel markets, the company announced.

During the next three years, Starwood will more than double its portfolio in the region with seven new hotels. That includes the debut of the Aloft brand in Russia with the new Aloft St. Petersburg.

“As one of the world’s fastest-growing outbound travel markets, Russia represents a great opportunity for us,” Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, said in a news release. “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.”

Starwood opened three new hotels in Russia and the CIS last year, including the debut of the W brand in Russia with the opening of W St. Petersburg. The company also opened in 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,” Simon Turner, president of Global Development & Acquisition for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, said in a news release. “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.”

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