PANAMA CITY—From the World Economic Forum Latin America in Panama, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide announced that it has opened Aloft Guadalajara, expanding its footprint to nearly 80 hotels in Latin America, and plans to open 17 more, increasing its portfolio by 20 percent by 2016. Starwood’s momentum is largely driven by vigorous growth in Mexico, its seventh largest market in the world, and accelerated expansion in Colombia, a market ripe with opportunities in business and leisure travel.
“With sustained GDP growth, a stable influx of foreign direct investment to high-growth markets, and a fast-rising middle class, Latin America continues to be a region filled with growth opportunities for our globally recognized and admired brands,” said Frits van Paasschen, president and chief executive officer, Starwood Hotels and Resorts. “Panama provides a perfect backdrop for our discussions this week as we explore the tremendous potential and unique complexities in this dynamic region.”
With the opening of Aloft Guadalajara, Starwood expands its presence in Mexico to 26 hotels. The 142-room hotel is located on Avenida de las Americas, one of the city’s most prestigious areas, with easy access to the airport and major businesses, restaurants, and shopping. Further underscoring its growth in Mexico, Starwood also announced that it will open The Westin Cozumel, its eighth Westin hotel in the country. The 156-room hotel is scheduled to open in the summer of 2016. With the signing of this hotel, Starwood increases its development pipeline in Mexico to seven hotels, representing an increase of 30 percent to its total footprint in the country.
Responding to strong demand for business and leisure travel in Colombia, Starwood will double its footprint from four to eight hotels by 2016. The company also announced that it plans to open two more Four Points by Sheraton hotels in Colombia: The 140-room Four Points by Sheraton Bogota in June and the 119-room Four Points by Sheraton Barranquilla, which will open its doors in September.
Additionally, Starwood will debut its W Hotels brand in the country with the opening of W Bogota during the third quarter this year. In 2015, Starwood will enter Cartagena, the country’s most important leisure destination, for the first time with the opening of a beachfront Sheraton hotel.
Starwood currently operates four hotels in Colombia, including two Four Points hotels in Cali and Medellin, which benefit from the growing demand in domestic business travel; Sheraton Bogota, the first Sheraton in the country; and the recently opened Aloft Bogota, which marked the entrance of the brand into the country less than two years ago.