The FINANCIAL — SHANGHAI, Jul 11, 2011 — As one of the world's fastest growing travel markets, with 100 million outbound travelers expected by 2015, China will play an outsized role in global travel within the next decade.
To prepare for this growing force of new travelers, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced today the launch of Starwood Personalized Travel – a program of initiatives designed to serve the unique preferences of Chinese travelers. Debuting at 19 Starwood hotels in gateway cities around the globe, Starwood Personalized Travel offers a variety of simple, yet meaningful touches that matter most to the Chinese guest, including in-room tea kettles, slippers, translated welcome materials and on-site translation services. Restaurant menus will also be made available in Chinese and feature familiar favorites like congee – a popular Chinese breakfast delicacy.
The launch of the new program coincides with the conclusion of the unprecedented month-long relocation of the company's entire Senior Leadership Team to China, and underscores Starwood's dedication to China which recently became its second largest hotel market outside of the U.S. and its fastest growing. With 75 hotels in China and nearly 100 in the pipeline, Starwood is the largest operator of high end hotels here, and will open one hotel in China every two weeks throughout 2011.
"As Chinese travelers begin to travel beyond their borders en masse, they, like their Western counterparts before them, will gravitate to the hotel brands they know from home, and with Starwood's leading footprint in China, this gives us a great advantage," said Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. "Just as our hotels in China have historically catered to American and European travelers with familiar amenities from home, now our hotels globally will provide the same services to Chinese travelers."