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Starwood Eyeing Caribbean Expansion

Above: the St Regis Bahia Beach in Puerto Rico

By Alexander Britell

PARADISE ISLAND — Last month, Starwood’s Richard Suarez said the company was pursuing an “aggressive expansion strategy” in Latin America.

But that strategy appears to include the Caribbean as well, where the company now has 10 managed, owned and franchised properties, according to Francisco Blanch, director of sales and marketing for Starwood Hotel & Resorts Caribbean.

In December, the first Westin in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic is set to open.

While Blanch, who was speaking at the CHTA Caribbean Travel Marketplace in the Bahamas, said Starwood did not have any new properties to announce “as of yet,” the region is very much on the company’s mind.

“There is a lot of scouting for new properties from our end, as well,” he said. “The Caribbean is included [in the strategy] – and we’re experiencing very steady growth year-over-year in all the regions of the world.”

Blanch also said the property was seeing a good response at the W in Vieques.

Note: an earlier version of this article referred to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort in St Lucia; Starwood does not own that property.

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