[photopress:starwood.jpg,full,alignright]Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the operator of Westin and Sheraton hotels and the third largest US hotel operator, plans to almost double its properties in China in the next four years as the region attracts more tourists from overseas.
The company aims to have nearly 100 hotels as opposed to the 57 it has now. Starwood Asia-Pacific vice-president Qian Jin said at a press conference in Shanghai that of the current number, 27 were under construction.
The reason is that international tourist visitors are growing at more than twice the pace of that to the United States or Europe. The number of international tourist visits to China rose 10.5 percent in the first four months this year, against 2.7 percent for North America and 2.5 percent for Europe, according to the World Tourism Organisation. And this is before the Olympic Games.