InterContinental is a brand of upscale luxury hotels owned by InterContinental Hotels Group. The chain operates over 200 hotels and resorts in approximately 75 nations. InterContinental began in 1946 when Pan American Airlines decided that there was a lack of quality hotels in many of its destinations. The first hotel, the Hotel Grande, opened that year in Belem, Brazil. The company was purchased by Bass Hotels & Resorts of the United Kingdom (now InterContinental Hotels Group) in 1998.