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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.

By Devlin Smith

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

Many of the people calling van der Spek's office were hotelowners interested in converting to Holiday Inn, one of thecompany's brands. "Some are pretty nervous, because theyare unbranded, do not belong to an international hotel group andare now looking for affiliation," he says. "I'mactually reallocating some resources to see if we canbenefit."

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