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Hilton Expands Latin American Presence

April 16, 2007 By: Mark Rogers Travel Agent

New hotels, destinations are a measure of Hilton's commitment to the region

Hilton Hotels Corporation is committing to Latin America in a big way. Not only is it opening new hotels and pushing through an ambitious renovation campaign, it's also finding fresh ways to market its hotels with culture-based packages and easily navigated web sites.  Rendering of Hilton Bogota

"We see tremendous opportunities for growth in Central
and South America," says Danny Hughes, area vice president, Caribbean, Cancun and Central America, Hilton Hotels Corporation.
"With the advent of Hilton Corporation's purchase of Hilton International,
we now have more brands available to us."

Hilton will begin management of two resorts in Costa Rica.
Beginning this December, Hilton will manage a 202-room Hilton property in
Guanacaste and a 410-room, all-inclusive Doubletree in Puntarenas. These will
be the first Hilton- and Doubletree-branded resorts in Costa Rica,

"Doubletree is custom made for Central
—it's a brand that can convert existing hotels," says

Hughes gives Costa Rica
high marks for its reputation for safety, its eco-tourism products and its
popularity as a destination for land ownership by U.S. citizens.

"This gets more people talking about the country, which
raises its profile and encourages family reunion travel." Hughes notes
that family members visiting relatives often opt to spend some time exploring Costa Rica.

Hughes also sees potential in Hilton's re-branding of the
existing Princess Hotels chain as Hilton Princess hotels. Hilton already has
three Hilton Princess hotels, one each in El
, Honduras
and Nicaragua.

"The free trade agreement with the U.S. has generated a lot of investment in all of
Central America," says Hughes. "We've
seen a lot of private equity money going down there."

Hughes says that Hilton Corporation is finalizing a deal for
a Panama City Hilton hotel that he describes as "first-class."

The hotel will target business travelers, while also
functioning as a gateway to exploring the country. Hilton hopes to have the
hotel up-and-running by 2008.

Hilton has also completed a $10 million improvement
campaign, with major renovations at Hilton Buenos Aires, Hilton Cartagena,
Hilton Colón Guayaquil and Hilton Colón Quito.

Pool area at the Hilton Papagayo in Costa Rica

Hilton's development strategy in Central and South America also includes:

The opening of a $27 million hotel in Bogota, Colombia,
the company's second hotel in the country. The 245-guest-room Hilton Bogota is
scheduled for completion in mid-2009.

A 150-room hotel in Ushuaia,
, the
world's southernmost city, is scheduled to open in 2009.

In 2008, Hilton will open a 158-room resort in Puerto
Iguazu, on the Argentinan side of Iguazu Falls. The resort will be
one of the first to offer direct access to Iguazu Falls
through boat tours departing from an onsite marina.

Hilton is offering new programs inspired by the culture of Latin America. An example is the new "Mis Raíces"
package, which offers travelers a chance to revisit their roots.

"Mis Raíces" provides guests with a map of
the city, a book on local customs and an ethnic welcome gift. Participating
hotels' concierge will also help interested guests connect with a local
genealogy expert.

Participating hotels offer the "Mis Raíces"
package at the starting rates below (breakfast is included), with a minimum
stay of two nights: Hilton Buenos Aires $230, Hilton São Paulo Morumbi $215,
Hilton Belem $210, Hilton Cartagena $245, Hilton Barquisimeto $195, and Hilton
Margarita & Suites $220.

The package is available through December 31. For
reservations, guests should visit the participating hotel's "hotel
specials" page on
or call 1-800-HILTONS and request booking code PR50MR.

Hilton São Paulo Morumbi's "Live Like A Mogul"
package features transfers on the newly expanded helicopter shuttle between Manhattan and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK),
roundtrip helicopter transfers between the hotel and São
's Guarulhos International Airport,
Presidential Suite accommodations and daily spa treatments.

The package costs $5,500 a night. For an additional $675 an
hour, guests can get around in style with their own personal helicopter for the

The "Live Like a Mogul" package is available
through Dec. 31. To book the package, call the hotel directly at

Hilton Hotels Corporation: 800-HILTONS,

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