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Four Points to spearhead Starwood`s China expansion

Starwood predicts its Four Points mid-range and upscale brands will spark a major expansion for the group in China, especially in places where it cannot have a grand Sheraton….

Starwood predicts its Four Points mid-range and upscale brands will spark a major expansion for the group in China, especially in places where it cannot have a grand Sheraton.

Speaking at the annual Starwood Expo in Sheraton Hong Kong, Starwood vice-president of Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau, Mr Peter Thompson, said the group aimed to continue expansion in China as a first priority because of its potential and size.

Four Points has huge opportunities, especially in secondary cities where we can`t have a grand Sheraton because of high costs in construction, operation and high average room rates.

The opening of the 278-room Four Points Sheraton Shenzhen this month will mark the brand`s entry to China. Next year, one will open in Dalian. There are four Four Points operating in the region, the first one opened in Sydney in 2000.

Mr Thompson continued: Where we can`t place a Sheraton, we`ll open a Four Points, predominately in business markets. He also admitted there were negotiations in Macau but declined to disclose further information.

But Thailand is not far behind and India will follow. In the next three to five years we will double the number of hotels in China from the current 18, he said.

There are currently 15 Starwood hotels under construction in Asia-Pacific, in countries such as China, Korea, Thailand and Bangladesh. In China, Sheraton will be due open in Xiamen, Shenzhen and Guiyang next year with the property in Ningbo scheduled to open in 2006. A Westin will open in the capital city two years later and there will be a W Hotel scheduled to open in Shanghai in 2008. In Hong Kong, a 383-room W Hotel located on West Kowloon Waterfront will be ready by 2008.

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