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SINGAPORE-Hilton International says it’s so confident about its future,even in the rough tourism economy, that it’s continuing plans to open 14more properties.

Tourism industry officials say the market is reeling from the double blow ofSARS and war. But Koos Klein, the company’s president for the Asia Pacific region,confirmed that 11 new hotels and 3 reflags, are forging ahead.There are currently 36 Hilton International Hotels operating in the AsiaPacific region.

He said the company’s mission is to have a Hilton presence in everydestination their customers want to be in.”Two new flagship hotels scheduled to open in the second half of 2004include the 580-room Hilton Sydney, which is being rebuilt at a cost ofAUD$400 million, and the 500-room Hilton Kuala Lumpur in KL Sentral,” Kleinsaid.

He said the company will also continue to expand its leisure offerings inthe region as part of its strategy to establish a network of resorts thatcomprise 20% of all Hilton properties by 2010.

The company, an operating division of UK-based Hilton Group plc, operatesmore than 400 hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties in over 70countries worldwide.A global marketing alliance between Hilton International and NorthAmerican-based Hilton Hotels Corporation extends the number of hotels owned,operated and/or franchised by both companies to more than 2,400 properties.

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