IHG expands Holiday Inn Express brand in SE Asia

24 Sep 2012

IHG plans to open a large number of its Holiday Inn Express brand hotels in Indonesia, Thailand,  Singapore and Bangkok as it expects a high demand in these countries for this kind of limited-service accommodation that offers a better value alternative.

In the pipeline for the next year are seven new Holiday Inn Express hotels across Indonesia, three in Thailand (in Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket), and two in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu). Also planned are two new Express-brand properties in Singapore, one on Orchard Road and another at Clarke Quay.

Twin room at the Holiday Inn Express Siam in Bangkok

Alan Watts, IHG’s vice president of operations in Southeast Asia, said the region’s growing middle class with more disposable income, together with the boom in low-cost carriers, meant more people were travelling and there was a surging demand for accommodation.

He said that travel between Southeast Asian nations was fast outstripping long-haul travel from other parts of the world to the region.

“Travel patterns have changed,” he said. In contrast to the long-haul visitors, he explained, travellers within the region tended to stay a shorter time in a place and be there for a more specific purpose, thus spending more time outside of the hotel. The Holiday Inn Express brand, which offers basic necessities such as a clean bed, hot shower and breakfast at economical rates, is therefore well suited to these guests.

Watts added that destinations such as Singapore and Bangkok were particularly good locations for these limited-service hotels as these cities were well developed and guests were not reliant on the hotels for other needs such as food or toiletries. He said this was particularly true of the Lion City, where the infrastructure was so developed travellers were not really looking to experience the hotel, and Holiday Inn Express offered them the comfort and security of a known brand, with the economy of limited service.

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Nicholas Olczak

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