YANGON, Burma (AP) — Hilton Worldwide has signed a contract to operate five hotels in Burma , which is emerging as a popular Southeast Asian tourist destination after military rule was lifted in 2011.

Hilton is teaming up with Eden Group, a Burma conglomerate with businesses from hotels to energy.

Hilton says it will rebrand Eden hotels in the capital Naypyitaw and Ngapali beach in western Rakhine state. It will open hotels in Inle lake in Shan State, Bagan in central Burma and the central city of Mandalay.

It plans to open a hotel in Yangon under a separate deal announced last year.

The number of tourists to Burma has surged in the past two years though it still lacks sufficient hotel rooms and infrastructure to challenge neighboring Thailand as a major destination.

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