Hilton Int'l unveils plan to grow Scandic brand

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CANNES, France -- Hilton International is looking to expand its portfolio of hotels by creating new franchise opportunities for its Hilton and mid-market Scandic brands.

Hilton International, which has the rights to the Hilton brand name outside North America, disclosed its new direction at the International Property Market here.

Hilton International, a unit of the U.K.-based Hilton Group, said it has "developed a franchise business model with the help of its U.S. Alliance partner Hilton Hotels Corp.," which has nearly 2,000 franchised hotels in operation.

Scandic, a Hilton brand, is one of largest hotel chains in the Nordic region.

"Hilton International recognizes the opportunity offered by franchising," said David Michels, Hilton Group chief executive. "It will allow us to further increase our brand exposure and give franchisees the benefits that flow from our global network and the advantages of being associated with our brands."

Deepak Seth, Hilton's International Development Director, said the chain is trying to get the word out.

"We are keen to tell the market that Hilton now franchises the Hilton and Scandic brands in key locations throughout the world," Seth said. "Our aim is to grow the business and identify key partners that want to be a part of the Hilton and Scandic success."

Meanwhile, Hilton International signed a franchise agreement with Princess Hotels & Resorts to reflag the 204-room Hotel Princess Zona Rosa in San Salvador, El Salvador, as a Hilton, the first Hilton in Central America.

The hotel features a health club, business center and 13,000 square feet of meetings space.

To contact reporter Michael Milligan, send e-mail to [email protected].

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