by Michael J. Shapiro | May 02, 2012

First-quarter worldwide revenue per available room grew year-over-year by 6.4 percent for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, the company reported last week in an earnings report. North American RevPAR was up by 7.2 percent, while Latin American properties led the way with 14.4 percent growth. The company's net income was $128 million for the quarter, compared with $28 million a year ago. "Our momentum picked up in the first quarter," said CEO Frits van Paasschen in a statement. "More importantly, we remain very bullish on the long term. Seemingly unstoppable demographic and economic trends are fueling global growth in demand for high-end travel. Rising wealth around the world and globally interconnected businesses will lead to ever more travel."