In order to further ramp up its presence in Turkey, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) in association with Tanriverdi Mensucat Sanayii A.S will introduce a Sheraton hotel in Samsun in late 2014. This will mark Starwood’s debut in the city.
Turkey is a strategic fit for new hotels. It boasts incredible landscapes and is bordered by four seas. As per Euromonitor, affordable pricing of package tours, a long coastline and natural beauty have made Turkey a popular tourist destination.
To tap the growing opportunity, Starwood is expanding its footprint to most emerging cities of the country. Starwood currently operates 9 hotels in Turkey, out of which 5 are Sheraton. There are also 4 other brands namely Aloft, W, Le Méridien and Luxury Collection operating in the country. Taking into account Sheraton Samsun, Starwood has 2 new openings in the pipeline, of which Sheraton Adana Hotel is scheduled to open later this year.
The city of Samsun -- the largest and busiest Turkish port on the Black Sea -- serves as a hub for trade, medical and natural gas industries and international and domestic transportation networks and is therefore frequented by business travelers. Hence, positioned in the heart of the city, the latest Sheraton hotel is likely to generate a significant amount of business. The 29-storey property will feature 200 guestrooms, along with several other amenities.
Since the last couple of quarters, Sheraton is spearheading Starwood’s market share growth. The brand comprises around 30% of the company’s current total global pipeline. In its 70-year long journey, Sheraton, one of Starwood’s strongest brands, has gained strength and popularity, owing to guest satisfaction. The company is continuously trying to drive the brand’s potential and recently completed a $6 billion revitalization program. Currently, an $8 billion global expansion plan is in place for the next three years.
With the latest opening, the company has moved a step toward fulfilling its dream to operate 500 Sheraton properties by the end of 2015. Notably, the brand leads the company’s portfolio in Turkey, making it one of the largest European markets for the brand.
Other Stocks to Consider
Starwood currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some players in the hotel industry, which look attractive at current levels include Hyatt Hotels Corp (H - Snapshot Report), China Lodging Group, Limited (HTHT - Snapshot Report) and Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. (VAC - Snapshot Report), all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).