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Bet the Franchise

What does the future hold for international franchising? Don't let the economy's naysayers dissuade you--our money's on growth.

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This story appears in the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In the weeks following September 11, threats of war and recession were weighing heavy on the world. But while belts were tightening and employees were being laid off, Arie van der Spek's phone was ringing. People wanted to find out how to join his franchise. "More people are calling us up, interested in documentation or preliminary conversation," says van der Spek, senior vice president and chief quality officer for operations in Africa, Europe and the Middle East at Holiday Inn's parent company, Six Continents PLC.

Many of the people calling van der Spek's office were hotel owners interested in converting to Holiday Inn, one of the company's brands. "Some are pretty nervous, because they are unbranded, do not belong to an international hotel group and are now looking for affiliation," he says. "I'm actually reallocating some resources to see if we can benefit."

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