Starwood Hotels and Resorts has announced that it will open 50 new hotels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in the next four years. Twelve of the properties in the region will open this year, while 70-80 will open globally. “We are targeting new-build and conversion opportunities across all nine of our world-class brands, with particular interest in Europe’s fastest growing markets throughout East Central Europe,” said Simon Turner, president of global development for Starwood. Russia and Turkey have been named as key markets for Starwood’s growth strategy meanwhile in Europe, the hotel chain will spend US$100m on renovations. Starwood is specifically looking to expand the Sheraton and Le Meridien brands, starting with the opening of a new Sheraton in Milan. The Sheraton Milan Malpensa Airport Hotel & Conference Centre offers views of the Italian Alps and provides access to the T1 terminal. The new hotel is part of Sheraton’s expansion plan that will add more than 50 hotels to its portfolio by 2014.