Starwood Hotels and Resorts has revealed it closed 2015 with 220 new signed hotel management and franchise agreements, a 26% increase over the prior year, marking the sixth consecutive year of increased signings and the most incremental signings in its history.
The company also opened a record of 105 hotels in 2015, representing approximately 22.5k rooms in 30 countries, also the highest number of openings in its history.
The news comes as Starwood prepares to merge with Marriott and become the largest hotel chain in the world.
“Our continued commitment to brands, design and innovation this past year allowed us to accomplish much on behalf of our shareholders, which is a true testament to the great work of our associates and something our team should be proud of,” said Thomas Mangas, Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.
“As we begin 2016 and work towards our merger close with Marriott to become the world’s largest hotel company, we will continue to vigourously compete in the marketplace, deliver value to our owners, delight our guests and grow our brands into new markets around the world.”
The select serve or mid-market segment drove last year’s signings, accounting for slightly more than 50%. While Four Points by Sheraton continues to maintain the company’s largest pipeline, Aloft experienced incredible growth momentum last year with a 65% increase in signings over the prior year.
At the same time, Starwood lengthened its lead in the luxury and lifestyle segment, with 29 deals across its St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels brands, an increase of almost 40% over the prior year.
The company continues to see luxury demand in all corners of the world with new hotels coming to sought-after destinations like Dubai, Maldives, Punta de Mita and Shanghai, following flagship openings last year in Amsterdam, Mumbai, and Prague.
In the upper-upscale segment, Sheraton, Starwood’s largest and most global brand, had signings that were up over 40% compared to the prior year.
The company’s newest brand, Tribute Portfolio, which launched in Q2 2015, finished the year with 16 hotels either operating or with signed agreements.
“This was a remarkable year of record-breaking growth for Starwood Hotels and Resorts with the highest number of both signings and organic openings in any single year in the company’s history,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development.
“We continued to enjoy balanced growth across both mature and emerging markets and across all of our brands, with a notable increase in the number of conversions. Approximately one-third of our openings in 2015 were conversions.”
Starwood’s strongest year of organic openings in history allowed the company to reach the following milestones in 2015:
-700th hotel in The Americas
-250th hotel in Europe, Africa and the Middle East
-300th hotel in Asia Pacific
-150th hotel in Greater China
-300th Mid-Market hotel
-200th Four Points by Sheraton hotel
-100th Aloft hotel
-100th The Luxury Collection hotel