Hilton plans hotel in Azerbaijan

Hilton Hotels Corporation (NYSE:HLT), has today announced that it is set to open its first hotel in Azerbaijan through a management agreement with ISR Kapital Investments. The new 300-room Hilton Baku is scheduled to open in December 2010.

Welcoming the announcement, Wolfgang M. Neumann, President of Hilton Hotels - Europe, said: “This move illustrates Hilton’s commitment to expanding in key emerging markets across Europe. Increasingly positive economic conditions in Azerbaijan have provided us with a clear opportunity to introduce our full-service Hilton brand to the city of Baku.”

Located on the Caspian Sea, Baku is the considered the country’s centre of commerce, culture, education and tourism. Hilton believes that this combined with its status as an UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a relative absence of internationally branded accommodation, means that the country is ripe for hotel development.

Neumann added: “Quality hotel supply in Baku is still incredibly low, so together with ISR Kapital Investments, the introduction of Hilton Baku will ensure we are ideally placed to capitalise on the anticipated increases in domestic and international travellers to this exciting part of the world.”

The newly built 300-room Hilton Baku will form part of a multi-purpose development situated in a prominent location close to the city centre, as well as its major business and shopping areas. The hotel will offer leisure and business travellers a health club and indoor pool, a choice of two restaurants as well as extensive conference and meeting facilities supported by a business centre and complimentary parking.

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Zafer Tangil, Director of ISR Kapital Investments said: “Baku is a vibrant city appealing to both business and leisure travellers. The introduction of a new Hilton hotel will add real value to our city, not only offering outstanding accommodation, but also providing guests with the high standards that you would associate with one of the world’s leading hospitality companies. Thanks to our relationship with Hilton we are confident that the hotel with its strategic position will be warmly received by future guests.”

Hilton has recently announced plans to develop approximately 50 new hotels encompassing selected brands within the Hilton Family of Hotels in neighbouring Russia, as part of two multi-unit deals expected to be signed this year. Elsewhere in Europe the company has opened seven new hotels across the region in 2007 and is set to open a further eight properties in Reykjavik, Prague, Bari, Matera, Moscow, Palermo, Mallorca and Madrid over the coming six months.
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