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In a concerted endeavor to strengthen its Central American portfolio, Intercontinental Hotels Group plc (IHG - Snapshot Report) is set to unveil two Holiday Inn branded properties in Nicaragua and Honduras in association with Grupo AGRISAL’s operational arm, Latin American Hospitality Management S.A. The two Holiday Inn Express hotels are due to be opened in 2014.

Intercontinental introduced its economy brand, Holiday Inn in the U.S. in 1952. The brand, previously renowned as a motel chain, belongs to the upper-moderate tier and it comprises small-to-mid sized full scale properties. Currently, Holiday Inn boasts as many as 3,414 hotels across the world. Since its opening, the brand has been gaining strong momentum.

Holiday Inn Express is a smaller prototype of the Holiday Inn brand, primarily designed to serve business travelers. Intercontinental currently owns 18 and 24 properties under Holiday Inn Express and Holiday Inn brand, respectively, in the Caribbean as well as Latin American region. Previously, the company, through a partnership with Grupo AGRISAL developed four properties in Central America.

This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company sees more opportunities for the Holiday Inn brand in Central America which has a population of around half a billion offering significant growth potential. Several other hoteliers including Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (WYN - Analyst Report), Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Snapshot Report) and Marriott International Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report) have also made their presence felt in the region.

The new Holiday Inn Express branded properties will be located in Managua and Tegucigalpa, the capital of Nicaragua and Honduras, respectively. The hotels' proximity to various famous national and international organizations makes it a perfect fit for businesses, administrative and financial activities. We expect the strategic position, wide range of amenities offered at both the 110-room hotels as well as its contemporary ambience to create a strong guest base, going forward.

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