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Hilton Announces Hotels in Tblisi and Batumi

Monday, September 16
Hilton Worldwide has signed two management agreements that will mark its entry into the Eastern European nation of Georgia. The flagship brand Hilton Hotels & Resorts will debut in the coastal city of Batumi in summer of 2014, while the Georgian capital Tbilisi will get a mid-market Hilton Garden Inn property in 2016. The two projects are entirely separate with different partners, but jointly represent Hilton's arrival into the country.

In a statement, Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President of development, Europe & Africa, Hilton Worldwide, said, "Georgia is a growing business and leisure tourism destination, and we are delighted to have reached an agreement on two separate deals...Hilton Worldwide is growing across Eastern Europe and we see significant potential to bring quality, branded accommodation to the region."

Georgia is enjoying a period of sustained economic growth, driven by its production of sustainable energy and inward foreign investment. Representing a frontier between Europe and Asia, it is a key strategic outpost for businesses seeking to expand further east, and thus benefits from significant demand in the meetings and events sector.

The 247-room Hilton Hotels & Resorts will open its debut hotel in the coastal city of Batumi, following a management agreement with Tourinvest Ltd. The multi-purpose site will be shared with a retail unit, casino and health club, all directly linked to the hotel via a walkway and will benefit from underground parking.

Batumi has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years, establishing the city as a thriving leisure destination. Tourism is central to the city's economy thanks largely to its casinos, beaches and nightlife.

Hilton Garden Inn Tbilisi Chavchavadze will have 165 rooms across 14 stories in Tbilisi's financial district.

Financing of up to $18.7 million for the Hilton Garden Inn property has been provided by the EBRD, which supports the development of market economies and democracies. To date, the EBRD has invested over 1.8 billion in 159 projects in various sectors of the Georgian economy, mobilizing a further 3 billion for those ventures from other sources of financing.

The project has also benefited from a technical and energy performance assessment sponsored by the government of Japan through the EBRD's Sustainable Energy Initiative.
(International Meetings Review)