In this week’s issue of Canadian Travel Press, executive editor, Bob Mowat reports that within the next 12 months, Starwood Hotels & Resorts will see its portfolio of hotels in Canada grow to 70 as the company continues to gain momentum here. Already Starwood has seen two properties open in 2014 – the Four Points Waterloo-Kitchener Hotel & Suites in February and last month, it opened its first Aloft in Western Canada, the Aloft Calgary University. During the remainder of 2014 it will open the Four Points Regina, the Four Points Surrey, the Four Points Moncton and the Element Vancouver Metrotown.
These openings follow a strong 2013 here, which saw the addition of the Four Points Edmonton International Airport, Four Points Kelowna Airport, Four Points Edmundston and Element Vaughan Southwest and see Canada continue to be Starwood’s second largest market outside the United States.
Simon Turner, president, global development for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, said of this growth: “We are continuing to see rising demand for development in both secondary and tertiary markets across Canada, fuelled by strong interest in our globally recognized brands and the ability to tap into Starwood’s strong distribution network and loyalty program.”
As for the spectacular growth of the Four Points brand here, Scott Duff, senior director, development – Canada & Alaska, global development group, observed: “It is very much the right brand for this market. Four Points is a very adaptable brand. It works great in city centres. It works great in suburban office markets, airports, secondary markets — whether they be new builds, conversions or even adaptive reuses of existing buildings.”
Turner certainly agrees, noting that Four Points is “sort of at the sweet spot of what the consumer is looking for and what the developer is looking to build because they’re bite-sized and manageable from a development standpoint and they’re affordable and dependable from a customer or travel agent perspective.”
Asked why Starwood is so bullish these days, Turner explained during a recent interview with Canadian Travel Press, that: “When we look at our growth, in many respects, we sort of look at it on geographic lines. So if China is booming, we’ve got resources in China. If Indonesia is booming, we’ve got resources there. There’s still lots to do in Canada and the United States and Germany and Latin America, it’s just that we need to adapt ourselves to the way that we do it.”
For the full story in this week’s edition of Canadian Travel Press, click here.