[photopress:miguelko.jpg,full,alignright]Starwood Asia Pacific president Miguel Ko is reported as saying Starwood is in talks to increase the number of hotels it manages in Shanghai to at least 12 in 2007. Starwood currently manages eight Sheraton, W and Westin hotels — so it is a big jump.
The current six hotels in Shanghai were among the group’s most profitable in the country according to Miguel Ko. He said, ‘There is a supply imbalance on hotel rooms in the short term, but the rates are holding up at an average of about US$200 per room/night in the city’s five-star segment.’
The new plan for Shanghai is a a revision of the company’s 2005 proposals which was to have a portfolio of 10 hotels in the city by 2015.
Miguel Ko said, ‘Shanghai is like New York. It is the proxy of growth for the country.’
Starwood rivals Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton which will also increase their presence in Shanghai with plans to open their second hotels in the city.
Miguel Ko said, ‘Basically we are a hotel management company, but we will invest in some of our trophy hotels as a showcase on a particular brand.’ Starwood owns a 32% stake in the 273-room St Regis boutique hotel in Beijing, its only mainland equity investment.