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Starwood increases focus on conversions in the region

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May 9, 2013

Starwood increases focus on conversions in the region

Dubai: Conversion [of hotel properties] is a key focus area for Starwood Hotels and Resorts? development team this year, according to a senior Starwood executive.

?Conversions are very attractive propositions from a growth standpoint. It is something we have been thinking very carefully internally over the last couple of years,? Neil George, Vice President, Acquisitions and Development, Africa and Middle East, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, told?Gulf News?in an interview.

The company recently announced conversions on three of its brands in the Middle East including Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton and one in its Luxury Collection portfolio.

An accepted practice in the West, Starwood aims to get at least four to five conversions done this year in the Middle East and Africa region, said George. ?We would like to get that target over the next few years. And the UAE will form a chunk of it,? he said.

Asked if Starwood was going to extend the practice to all its brands or limit it to some, George said: ?Some brands are relatively less complicated than others. But there is no way that we are going to say that we absolutely will not do a conversion on.?

He added: ?We thought this was a good time to look at conversions. Dubai went through this boom when anybody could open a hotel and generally do well. What brand was on it was kind of a secondary thing. Then it went through a correction. And now we think we are in a period of relative stability.

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Source: Shweta Jain (2013). Hilton hotels heading for roll in China, China Daily Times? published May 06, 2013. Viewed May 07, 2013,


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