• Garden Inn announces UK debut

Hilton is to open its first Garden Inn in the UK in Luton, a satellite town North West of London.

The 155-room hotel is expected to be the first of 20 in the UK over the next four to five years and it follows announced sites in Stuttgart, Florence and Rome airport – the latter being the 300th Garden Inn in the world.

The budget brands within Hilton’s portfolio – chiefly Garden Inn and Hampton Inn – are a key component of Hilton’s growth strategy over the next 10 years. It plans to open 1,000 new hotels in Europe in this period, across all its brands.

The company is using the “by Hilton” tag across all of its properties outside of the US, with the new approach also being adopted in Canada and Latin America.

The Hilton pipeline currently stands at 800 hotels with 111,000 rooms. Of these, 23% are Garden Inns and 29% Hampton Inns, the two biggest brands by room numbers.

Hilton remains dominated by full service hotels in North America, however. The Americas will account for 72% of EBITDA in 2007 and the Hilton brand will be 62%. By contrast, Garden Inn is just 4% of EBITDA and Hampton 8%. Europe, excluding the UK and Ireland, represents 11%, with the UK & Ireland being a further 7%.

The Eastern hemisphere is expected to account for an increasing proportion of openings over the coming years.

Outside of North America, the main focus is on 11 markets: the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, Qatar, UAE, India, China, Russia, Japan and Australia.

Territories outside of this list will still see hotel openings but they will tend to cluster around gateways such as airports, such as a planned Garden Inn at Istanbul airport.

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