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Case Title:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts in China - Strategies for Growth

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Ruchi Mankad, Joel Sarosh Thadamalla

Industry: Leisure and Tourism

Region:China

Case Code: GRS0162A

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Abstract:
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. based in New York, was one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with about 850 properties in over 95 countries and 145,000 employees in 2006. Starwood owned, managed and franchised hotels and resorts under 8 internationally renowned brands namely Westin, Sheraton, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Four Points by Sheraton, W and aLoft.

After North America and Europe, Asia emerged as the most dynamic region fuelling growth in hotel industry. In Asia, China was considered the hottest destination due to its booming economy, emergence as one of the leading tourism destination and the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in Beijing in 2007. Starwood entered China in 1985 and by 2006 it operated 26 hotels under 5 renowned brands and had emerged as the leading international luxury hotel chain in China. It had ambitious plans to further boost its presence. Other international hotel chains were also looking at China in a big way, leading to a clutter of world famous hotel brands. The cut-throat competition especially among the luxury hotel operators was expected to intensify, driving the unprofitable ones out of business. In such a situation, it remained a challenge for Starwood to continue to enjoy its dominance.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the economic growth and growth of tourism industry in China and its spill-over effect on the hotel industry
  • To discuss the entry and growth strategies of Starwood in China
  • To analyse the challenges ahead for Starwood in China and chart out strategies to overcome them.

Keywords : Starwood; luxury hotels; resorts; Westin; Sheraton; St. Regis; The Luxury collection; Growth Strategies Case Study; Le Meridien; Four Points by Sheraton; W aLoft; ELEMENT; China; Beijing; Olympic Games; Asia; InterContinental; Hilton; Hyatt; competition; growth strategies; brand positioning; brand strategy

Contents : 
Starwood Hotels and Resorts: A Business Profile
World’s Most Widely Spread Hotel Companies
Segmentation and the Portfolio of Hotels
Cross-marketing Strategies
Special Amenities Designed by Westin for its Guests

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