Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc was incorporated in 1980 under the laws of Maryland. It operates as a hotel and leisure company. The Company conduct its hotel and leisure business both directly and through its subsidiaries. It has 1,175 properties providing approximately 346,800 rooms in nearly 100 countries. The Company also own Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. Its hotel business is largely focused on the operation of hotels and resorts primarily in the luxury and upper upscale segments of the lodging industry. The hotel business included 1,161 owned, managed or franchised hotels with approximately 339,200 rooms, comprising 47 hotels that they own or lease or in which they have a majority equity interest, 563 hotels managed by us on behalf of third-party owners and 551 hotels for which they receive franchise. Additionally, its vacation ownership and residential business included 14 stand-alone vacation ownership resorts and residential properties. The Company manage and operate its hotel business in three separate hotel segments: the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East ("EAME"), and Asia Pacific. Its vacation ownership and residential business is a separate segment. They franchise its Luxury Collection, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft and Element brands and generally derive licensing and other fees from franchisees based on a fixed percentage of the franchised hotel's room revenue, as well as fees for other services, including centralized reservations, loyalty program, national and international advertising and sales and marketing. They also review certain plans for the location and design of franchised hotels to conform with its brand standards. The Company's brands name includes St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points, Aloft, and Element. some of its competitors are private management firms, several are large national and international chains that own and operate their own hotels, as well as manage hotels for third-party owners and sell VOIs, under a variety of brands that compete directly with its brands. The Company is subject to certain requirements and potential liabilities under various foreign and U.S. federal, state and local environmental laws, ordinances and regulations.