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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) remains steadfast in its goal to expand its presence in the international market. The company recently unveiled Four Points by Sheraton Brisbane signaling the debut of the brand in the city. The new property will be owned by Felicity Hotel Pty Ltd.

The 246-roomed property is located at Brisbane’s Central Business District, at a stone’s throw away from the city’s main attractions like the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, Brisbane River and Queensland Art Gallery. In our view, the upscale location and close proximity to the major attractions will act as a major crowd-puller for the hotel.

In recent times, Four Points has emerged as one of the strongest brands of Starwood, especially after the completion of the $1 billion revitalization program. Boasting an affordable price point and the largest pipeline among all the brands of Starwood, the mid-scale and contemporary lifestyle brand has been a major success worldwide.

Starwood has a considerable presence in Australia with 10 properties, out of which 4 are under the Four Points by Sheraton brand. Besides Four Points, two other brands — Westin and Sheraton — also operate in the country.

The global hotel chain sees huge development opportunities in Australia — one of the world’s wealthiest countries. With a limited supply environment, the country is set to witness a surge in demand for luxury accommodation driven by a considerable increase in the number of domestic as well as international travelers.

With Australia’s consistent GDP growth over the last few years, Starwood’s decision to expand in the country appears to be strategically apt. Brisbane – one of the largest cities of Australia – serves as a major trade and transportation hub and, attracts both business and leisure travelers, and Starwood is seeking to capitalize on the rising demand in the city.

Stocks to Consider

Starwood currently retains a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). A better-ranked stock in the hotel industry is Marriott International, Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report), with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). In the broader leisure services sector, investors may consider Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN - Analyst Report) and MGM Resorts International (MGM - Analyst Report). While Wynn Resorts sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), MGM Resorts has the same Zacks Rank as Marriott.

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