Stephen's Message

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Dear Colleagues,

Let me take this opportunity to share some of the latest happenings in the world of Starwood Asia Pacific and some personal learning as I embark on my Journey on getting to as many of our locations and meeting as many of you as possible.

We have just ended the first quarter and a lot has happened in our division and the world of Starwood. We have signed 18 new hotels and opened 7 new hotels including the first W Hotel in mainland China; W Guangzhou, the 3rd Luxury Collections Hotel in Thailand; Vana Belle in Koh Samui, the biggest Aloft globally (482 rooms) in Kuala Lumpur, the 6th Westin in India; The Westin Chennai and the 20th Four Points by Sheraton in Greater China; Four Points Sheraton Taizhou, Yuhuan. We also opened the second tower of Sheraton Macao with an additional 2000 rooms. Our Pacific team re-opened the Westin Fiji Resort in early February after it was damaged by cyclone Evans in December. Year to date, we now have 248 hotels in operation and 164 hotels under construction, so we have surpassed the 400 hotels milestone!

I am pleased to have visited many of our hotels in the five diverse regions across Asia Pacific. My purpose is to understand our business better and interact with our talented associates and management teams. In addition, my visits have provided a more “real life” feel of the situation on the ground and to better understand the long term perspective of market movement and dynamics.

On the people front, we held the Asia Pacific wide Recruitment Day on March 6. This event started in Greater China last year and extended to the rest of Asia Pacific this year. The Recruitment Day initiative demonstrated the “Power of Starwood”; with our wide distributions in over 240 operating hotels and resorts. We must not forget that one of the key priorities of our leadership teams at the hotel, regional and divisional levels is to recruit, develop and retain the best talent to support our growing footprint.

Our hotels would just be a nice cold box without soul if we do not have well trained and dedicated talents to deliver the best personalized service to our guests. I understand that Starwood in Asia Pacific enjoys a good reputation in people development and training.

Once again, through our collective effort with Starwood Careers and more, we want to continue to excel, not only in developing our talent but also to be able to attract and retain good talent. It is good for the business and more importantly, good for the individual.

As usual, I would like to close my letter with a quote by Henry Ford: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” So don’t stop learning as you never know what you learn today can someday be useful as you move on with your life.

Stephen Ho
Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels

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