by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | April 04, 2014
At the World Economic Forum Latin America being held this week in Panama, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced it is returning to Bolivia after a 30-year hiatus. The new-build 150-room Sheraton Santa Cruz, scheduled to open in 2016, is part of the company's ambitious plan to grow its footprint in Latin America by 30 percent by 2016. On April 1, the company opened a 142-room Aloft hotel in Guadalajara, pushing its portfolio to 26 in Mexico, and said it will open a 156-room Westin hotel Cozumel in 2016, the eighth Westin in Mexico. Starwood said it plans to add another 17 properties in the region, including four in Colombia. "With sustained GDP growth, a stable influx of foreign direct investment to high-growth markets, and a fast-rising middle class, Latin America continues to be a region filled with growth opportunities for our globally recognized and admired brands," Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen said in a statement.