Virgin eyes high-end hotel sector

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After venturing into space tourism, British billionaire Richard Branson seeks to expand his Virgin Group into the luxury hotel sector in north American.

Already established as one of the world's leaders in services ranging from mobile phones and music to air transportation, Branson now wants to enter the highly competitive hotel market.

According to its Website, Virgin Hotels aims to acquire up to 500 million dollars in properties in a number of key US cities, including New York, Las Vegas and Miami, over the next three years.

"We are keen to discover a range of interesting, authentic and high quality 150 to 400 room properties in appealing neighborhoods," it said in a brochure.

"Our valuable target audience includes the high income, well-educated, metropolitan 'creative class."

Since Branson created it in 1970, the Virgin Group claims to have created more than 300 companies worldwide, employing approximately 50,000 people in 30 countries.

© 2010 AFP

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