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Hilton to Increase Presence in Egypt
 The world-renown Hilton brand has revealed that 5 hotels are currently in development in Egypt as the chain expands operations on the back of significant growth during 2014. The Hilton group has a portfolio of 12 world-class global brands, comprising more than 4,300 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties. In Egypt, the group currently has 18 hotels and resorts in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Hurghada, Neweiba, Taba, Marsa Alam and Sharm El-Sheikh. According to Christian Muhr, vice president of operations of Egypt and Levant for Hilton Worldwide, the hotel chain enjoyed a fruitful 2014, receiving several local, regional and international awards and accolades. "This is testament to our unparalleled performance across the board, whether on the services and amenities level, the environmental sustainability level or the community service level," he said. "The recognitions were awarded by leading international organisations including World Travel Awards, MENA Travel Awards, Green Globe, ISO, TripAdvisor as well as several other renowned traveller review platforms. Moreover, a number of Hilton hotels were honoured by the Egyptian Minister of Tourism during World Tourism Day in Egypt." The Hilton Group has been operating in Egypt for over 50 years and has a strong commitment to sustain and expand its operations locally: "We are planning to open a new hotel in Egypt this year; Hilton Alexandria King's Ranch, with a further five hotels currently under development. These expansion plans are backed by promising forecasts for 2015," added Mr Muhr. Hilton's expansion programme follows a 'remarkable recovery' in Egypt's tourism in 2014, with the country hosting 70% more visitors in the third quarter of the year compared with 2013. Tourism is the mainstay of the Egyptian economy and last year's performance indicates that the country's broader economic picture may be improving. The bulk of growth in tourist volumes last year was seen in Cairo where hotel occupancy rates jumped from between 10% and 20% in 2013 to nearly 50%, according to Hisham Zazou, the minister of tourism. "There is a comeback in tourism. There is a perception that Egypt is embarking on a different path and a period of stability will start to be recognised," he said. With a clear uptick in tourist confidence in Egypt, prospects for growth in 2015 are significant. With the Hilton brand leading the way, expansion in hospitality markets will reflect beneficially on residential real estate, particularly in resort areas making the country an investment hotspot to keep an eye on in 2015.
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