Hilton Closes Six Multi- Million- Dollar Franchise Deals In Colombia

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hilton Worldwide executives continue to see South America as their continuing new revenue source for the next decade. Company president and CEO Christopher J. Nassetta has signed six new franchise contracts with METRO Hotels to open new properties in key tourist locations within the next five years.

Two hotels already are under construction and expected to open in 2013. They are both Hampton by Hilton brands in Barranquilla and Cartagena. The Barranquilla property will have 125 rooms; the Cartagena site, 132 rooms. Locations of the four other new hotels were not announced.

The estimated development cost of the six hotels also were not disclosed in a company news release. However, hospitality analysts estimate the construction cost alone will be in the millions.

Cristiano Gon´┐Żalves, Hilton's vice president of development for South America, sees "Colombia as an important strategic development market for Hilton Worldwide. The addition of these new properties represents the incredible momentum behind our multi-brand growth plan for the region." Felipe Galeano, Development Director for METRO Hotels, said his group is "convinced of the high potential of the Hampton product in Colombian major and intermediate cities. We think that it combines the perfect level of comfort, service, security and cost efficiency for the Colombian business traveler." Phil Cordell, head of Hilton's global focused service and Hampton brand management, says, "Hampton by Hilton is an ideal choice for value-savvy business and leisure travelers. We are looking forward to introducing Hampton's unique customer service and unmatched quality in this flourishing country." He adds, "We stand behind the brand with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee - if a guest is not happy with their stay, we don't expect them to pay." The 125-room Hampton by Hilton Barranquilla will be located in the heart of the commercial area of Barranquilla and will be part of a mix-use project. The 132-room Hampton by Hilton Cartagena will be located in the area of Bocagrande, next to the Convention Center and the Old City. Hampton Hotels currently offers16 properties in Latin America, and has plans to expand its presence throughout the region.

Both new hotels will feature the Hampton by Hilton brand's signature offerings, including a stylish Perfect Mix lobby, free Wi-Fi throughout and the Jump Start fitness center. Hilton's release states the new hotels are designed and styled to appeal to business and leisure travelers, "offering best-in-class service and comfort." Additional guest amenities include the free On the House hot breakfast, a 24-hour snack area and a bar area with evening dining options to help guests connect after meetings.

Hilton Worldwide currently has a portfolio of 50 hotels and resorts open in Latin America, three of which are located in Colombia. They are Hilton Bogota, Hilton Cartagena and Embassy Suites by Hilton Bogota - Rosales. Hilton's news release states the company is "actively pursuing additional Latin American growth opportunities with a robust development pipeline" that includes properties in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Peru.

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