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Starwood is targeting nascent tourism markets in Turkey and Russia after 2013 profits dropped due to stagnation in Asia and Europe. Regional political unrest could slow the brand's projected growth rate.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. plans to open more than 60 hotels in Europe by 2020, increasing its locations by almost 40 percent, as the U.S. company taps growth in countries including Turkey and Russia.

Nine of the hotels will open this year, two more than in 2013, Starwood said in a statement today. The company, based in Stamford, Connecticut, also said it agreed to open its seventh Sheraton hotel in Turkey as part of a plan to add four hotels.

Starwood, which also owns the St. Regis and W brands, is being hurt by slower economic growth in regions including Asia and Europe. A surge in infrastructure development in Turkey and Russia is creating favorable conditions for expanding its hotel brands, the company said today. Starwood said its growth plan also includes Aloft and Luxury Collection hotels in Ukraine.

Marriott International Inc., one of Starwood’s competitors, in 2010 announced a plan to double the number of its rooms in Europe by the end of 2015 to 80,000. Since then, the company has opened 20,000 rooms, Amy McPherson, Marriott’s Europe president, said in an interview today.

The company, based in Bethesda, Maryland, has already agreed to open 8,770 rooms over the next two years, McPherson said. “The new development activities have picked up pace,” she said.

Marriott owns brands including Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance.

Editors: Jeffrey St.Onge and Andrew Blackman.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Blackman in Berlin at [email protected]; Dalia Fahmy in Berlin at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at [email protected]

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Tags: marriott, starwood, turkey

Photo credit: Starwood's W Hotel in Barcelona is one of the more recognizable hotel properties in Europe. Martin Abegglen / Flickr

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