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InterContinental Hotels Franchisees to Invest $500 Million in Mexico

MEXICO CITY – The $500 million investment in Mexico by InterContinental Hotels Group that was announced last week by the office of Mexican President Felipe Calderon will not come directly from IHG, but from franchisees with hotels in the IHG pipeline, the company said.

Calderon’s office made the announcement after the president’s Jan. 30 meeting with IHG’s president for the Americas, Jim Abrahamson.

The new investments from IHG franchisees “will translate into a projected 47 hotels with a total of 5,000 rooms,” according to information released by the Mexican government.

Calderon and Abrahamson “exchanged points of view on the tourism industry and Mexico’s great potential to figure among the world’s top five tourist destinations, while also discussing the tourism industry’s impact on creating jobs and growing the nation’s economy,” the president’s office said.

The Calderon administration has declared 2011 to be the Year of Tourism in Mexico.

During last month’s FITUR tourism fair in Madrid, Mexican Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara said visits to Mexico have increased and “investments have as well.”

Citing preliminary figures, she said more than 22 million people visited Mexico last year, matching the record set in 2008. EFE