Brazil Hospitality Group (BHG) has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a new Golden Tulip hotel in Natal, the capital of Rio Grande do Norte state, as part of plans to strengthen its presence in the north-east region.

The Golden Tulip Natal is being developed by Hazbun and opening is slated to take place either in the last quarter of 2013 or in the first quarter of 2014.

As a minority partner in the project, BHG will invest in and deploy furniture, fixtures and equipment, as well as hotel equipment and operating supplies.

"We are certain that Natal is the perfect scenario for the start-up of another Golden Tulip hotel."

Designed to attract both business travellers and leisure tourists, the hotel will feature 168 rooms, a restaurant and a convention space.

As part of a master plan, the hotel will have a tower with 120 service flats on one of the main avenues of the Ponta Negra region, to be exclusively managed by BHG.

The latest hotel is the second one in the city for the company, after the Golden Tulip Interatlantico.

With a diversified service and retail sector, Natal receives more than two million tourists every year from elsewhere in Brazil and abroad, and is a major contributor to the GDP of Rio Grande do Norte.

Natal will also be one of the cities hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with investments through the Growth Acceleration Plan (PAC) of R$23bn ($11.23bn) by 2014, followed by another R$18bn ($8.78bn).

BHG CEO Pieter van Voorst Vader said: "For these and other reasons, we are certain that Natal is the perfect scenario for the start-up of another Golden Tulip hotel."

BHG has an exclusive contract with the Golden Tulip Hospitality Group in South America to use the Royal Tulip (5-star), Golden Tulip (4-star) and Tulip Inn (3-star) brands.

The company also has the Soft Inn brand, used for limited-service 2-star hotels.

With ten greenfield projects totalling 1,958 rooms, and the recently signed management agreements, BHG will have a total of 70 own and managed hotels with around 12,910 rooms by the end of 2015.