IHG targets China, India and Middle East expansion

23 Nov 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Intercontinental Hotels Group says it will double its portfolio in greater China over the next five years, with other "high priority" markets including India and the Middle East also set for significant expansion.

Announcing the plans IHG cited research showing that the Chinese hotel room market will overtake the US in 2025, and further studies suggesting that by 2030, nearly half (48 per cent) of Chinese hotels will be branded, up from the current 10 per cent.

The group currently has 137 properties across its Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands, with this figure set to rise to 286 over the next five years.

The expansion includes the introduction of the boutique Hotel Indigo brand in the region, with the first property due to open in Shanghai this week (see view from a guest bathroom below), and further developments in Hong Kong, Taipei and Xiamen. IHG says it plans an eightfold increase in hotel rooms in Greater China over the next 20 years.

The group also pointed to other “high priority” markets including India and the Middle East. IHG recently announced an agreement to manage six new Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express properties in India (see online news October 28), and says it will treble its portfolio in the country in the next three years.

In the Middle East Kirk Kinsell, President EMEA said that the growth of airlines such as Etihad, Emirates and Qatar, and a more segmented hotel market were both helping to drive growth, with 38 properties currently in the pipeline, and a portfolio of 190 expected by 2020.

CEO Andy Cosslett said that the US, China, India and the Middle East now accounted for 80 per cent of the group’s hotel pipeline, and added that while the US continues to be IHG’s largest market, the group was moving towards “a more balanced business” in terms of its global portfolio.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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