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Leading hotelier, Intercontinental Hotels Group plc (IHG - Snapshot Report), is strengthening its Latin American portfolio through continuous expansion in the region. The latest addition to the portfolio is Holiday Inn Express Panama Distrito Financieroin Panama City, Panama. The 196-room property will mark the debut of Holiday Inn Express brand in the city.

Of late, the emerging market of Panama has attracted the attention of several hoteliers. The political and administrative hub of the island, Panama City is also the business center and home to several prime business enterprises. These factors, in addition to the flourishing tourism industry, encouraged InterContinental’s decision to bring its Holiday Inn Express brand to the city.

Intercontinental Hotel’s latest property, positioned in close proximity to Tocumen International Airport, Punta Pacifica Hospital, Costa del Este Business Park and various shopping venues like Multiplaza Pacific and Multicentro, is expected to cater to both leisure and business travelers. We expect the strategic position, wide range of amenities offered at the Holiday Inn Express Panama Distrito Financiero as well as its contemporary ambience to create a strong guest base.

The company has unveiled the Holiday Inn Express-branded property in association with Grupo AGRISAL’s operational arm, Latin American Hospitality Group. Grupo AGRISAL plans to unveil two more hotels under the brand in Honduras and Nicaragua, going ahead.

Holiday Inn Express is a smaller prototype of the Holiday Inn brand, primarily designed to serve business travelers. Intercontinental currently owns 44 properties under Holiday Inn Express and Holiday Inn brands cross the Latin American region.

InterContinental has been operating in Latin America for the past 65 years. The affluent middle-class population and greater footfall impelled this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company to grow further in this fast-growing emerging market. The hotelier has more than 80 hotels in Central and South America and the Caribbean. We believe the new property will strengthen its brand presence in the region as well as align with its growth strategy.

Other Stocks to Consider

InterContinental holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the hotel and lodging industry may consider stocks like Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc. (HMIN - Snapshot Report), Marriott International, Inc. (MAR - Analyst Report) and Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. . While Home Inns & Hotels has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Marriott and Orient-Express Hotels hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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