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Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (WYN - Analyst Report), recently opened its first Wyndham Garden property in Puerto Rico as part of its Caribbean expansion plan. The Wyndham Garden Puerto Rico is located at Palmas del Mar in Humacao. This is the second Wyndham property on the island, following Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, A Wyndham Grand Resort in Rio Grande.

The new property features 107 luxurious guest rooms including 14 junior suites and 11 one-bedroom suites, 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and various other amenities. Located near San Juan and Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, the hotel is easily accessible. Moreover, the location is home to a several retail shops and fine dining restaurants, making the property a strategic fit.

Wyndham Garden at Palmas del Mar is owned and operated by Puerto Rico based Empresas Santana, which also owns a soon-to-be-constructed Wyndham resort in Barceloneta and Wyndham Hotel Group's sister concern Howard Johnson Hotel - Carolina San Juan in Isla Verde. Barceloneta property is expected to break ground this fall.

Puerto Rico has been playing a major role in the hotelier’s Caribbean expansion. With its easy accessibility and focus on eco-tourism, the location enjoys a more competitive advantage than any other Caribbean island.

Moreover, the government of Puerto Rico exempts U.S. citizens from having to produce a passport. Following this initiative, Puerto Rico saw a substantial increase in overall tourist traffic. Therefore, we expect hoteliers to considerably benefit from this strategic expansion going forward. One of Wyndham’s competitors Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) has a considerable presence in that country and plans to expand further.

The company is poised to benefit from the increase in demand for hotels in the international market, as the pace of economic recovery is particularly fast outside the U.S. In the first quarter of 2011, Wyndham opened over 12,000 rooms.

Moreover, the development team delivered 106 deals in the first quarter, up 58% from the year-ago quarter. Apart from the Caribbean, the company concentrates on China, India and the politically stable Middle Eastern markets.

Wyndham Worldwide Corporation currently retains a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating. We are also maintaining our long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock.

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