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InterContinental has retained its grip as the world’s largest hotel chain, according to the annual ranking of hotels by accommodation analyst MKG Hospitality.

The British company, which operates brands including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaze and InterContinental, offers a whopping 647,161 rooms around the world, more than any other hotel chain despite growing slowly over the past year.

In second place in the listing released this week is Wyndham Hotels, which offers 612,735 rooms but is gaining quickly (adding 2.5% more rooms in the last year).

Hilton is in third place with 605,938 rooms, an increase of 3% more rooms on 2010.

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The fastest grower among the big chains is Starwood in seventh place, which saw a 5.9% growth in rooms, enabling it to overtake Best Western, which was the only major chain to show a contraction, posting a 0.4% fall in the number of rooms.

The real growth, however, came from Chinese brands — 7 Days Group Holding showed a huge 71.8 percent growth, while Homes Inn jumped by 30.1 percent, with both brands operating properties only in China.

Among global brands (not chains), Best Western remained the largest, with some 307,155 rooms, followed by Holiday Inn at 230,117 rooms and Marriott in third place with 204,019 rooms.

The fastest growth from the top 20 chains outside of China came from French budget brand Ibis, which added 5.1 percent more rooms last year, taking its total to 107,735 in 900 hotels.

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The world’s biggest hotel names:

1. Best Western
2. Holiday Inn
3. Marriott Hotels & Resorts
4. Comfort Inns
5. Hilton
6. Holiday Inn Express
7. Hampton Inn
8. Days Inn of America
9. Sheraton Hotels and Resorts
10. Super 8 Motels
11. Courtyard
12. Quality Inns, Hotels and Suites
13. Ramada Worldwide
14. Ibis
15. Motel 6
16. Crowne Plaza
17. Hyatt Hotels
18. Radisson Hotels
19. Home Inns
20. Mercure

Holiday Inn of America