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In collaboration with Arabella Hospitality SE, a management company for real estate properties, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) recently unveiled the Sheraton Zurich Hotel in Switzerland. This marks the second opening under this brand in Switzerland. With this opening, the company gets a step closer to achieving its target of opening 500 hotels worldwide by 2016.

Located in Zurich West, the Sheraton Zurich Hotel features 197 guest rooms including 32 suites, a Sheraton club lounge, a Swiss grill restaurant, a meeting and event space spread over an area of 600 square meters and a fitness centre. Zurich West is a financial hub. The ideal positioning of the hotel will attract both business as well as leisure travelers.

Currently, Starwood’s operates six hotels under its four brands Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, and the Luxury Collection in the city. More than half of Starwood’s properties are situated outside the U.S., which give the company wide international exposure unlike any of its peers.

Starwood Hotels is consistently trying to expand its global presence. Recently, the company declared that despite the present worldwide macroeconomic turmoil, it signed 152 hotel management and franchise deals in 2013, reflecting an increase of 16% year over year. This is the company’s highest number of hotel signings in the past six years.

With the rise in global travel demand, Starwood expects 2014 to be solid in terms of openings and new agreements. The company will continue to concentrate on fast-growing areas where demand is substantially high but supply remains limited.

Other hoteliers like Marriott International Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report) are also focusing on domestic and international expansion in order to withstand competition in the market.

Starwood holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other players in the hotel industry, which look attractive at current levels, include Hyatt Hotels Corp. (H - Snapshot Report) and Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (WYN - Analyst Report). Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2.


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