Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide knows how to shine a light on hospitality. One of the world's largest hotel companies, it has more than 1,125 properties in about 100 countries. Starwood's hotel empire consists of upscale brands such as Sheraton and Westin. It operates about 100 luxury resorts and hotels through its St. Regis and Luxury Collection units, while its 40 W Hotels offer ultra-modern style. Other brands include Four Points (value-oriented), Le Méridien (European-inspired), Aloft (select-service), and Element (extended stay). Starwood Vacation Ownership operates about 15 time-share resorts. Notable Starwood hotels include the St. Regis in New York and the Hotel Gritti Palace in Venice.
For international expansion, Starwood is focused on Asia, which it sees as a key emerging market. In fiscal 2012 about 85% of the company’s pipeline represented growth outside North America. The dramatic economic growth in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa is fueling demand for Starwood's brands worldwide.
Sales and Marketing
Starwood's loyalty program, "Starwood Preferred Guest", is a frequent guest incentive marketing program, allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades, and flights.
Starwood uses multi-media advertising campaigns, including television, radio, internet, and print advertisements to drive guests to its properties. In fiscal 2012 Starwood spent about $154 million on advertising and other promotional activities. In fiscal 2011 that figure was around $149 million and back in fiscal 2010 Starwood spent roughly $132 million on advertising and promotions.
Starwood’s revenue increased 12% to $6.3 billion in fiscal 2012 compared to $5.6 billion in fiscal 2011. The company’s profits increased by 15% in fiscal 2012 compared to the previous year. The growth was attributed to an increase in revenue from the company's vacation ownership and residential segments and Asia Pacific segment.
Total vacation ownership and residential services segment revenue increased by 85%, primarily due to the recognition of residential sales at the St. Regis Bal Harbour. Double digit growth in the Asia Pacific segment was primarily related to a $28 million increase in revenues from management fees and franchise fees, as well as a $5 million increase in revenues from owned, leased and consolidated joint venture hotels.
The increase in management fees and franchise fees was due to the net addition of 33 managed and franchised hotels in 2012.
Starwood is focused on growth in Africa, China, India, South Asia, and Latin America. The company currently operates 34 hotels in the Asia Pacific region with 24 hotels in the pipeline. It expects to have 100 hotels under operation in the Asia Pacific region by 2015.
Starwood also plans to increase its operating hotel footprint in Latin America by 50% during the next five years, opening an average of seven new hotels per year in the region. The company continues to expand in Europe as well, where it expects to open 50 new hotels during the same time frame.