IHG has announced that it will offer a hotel
franchising programme for the Holiday Inn Express brand in China.This announcement
follows the successful opening of the first six Holiday Inn Express hotels and the
signing of close to 20 additional management contracts for the brand in Greater
Patrick Imbardelli, Chief Executive, IHG Asia Pacific, said: “From the outset we
designed our Holiday Inn Express support platform in China with franchising in mind.
Our support model is based on our insights and experience gained from 23 years of
successfully operating market-leading hotels in China. This, together with our 50
years of global franchising experience, unparalleled brand equity and our strong
local support team, will ensure our success as a hotel franchisor in China.”
The Holiday Inn Express China Franchise Programme will be offered to hotel owners
who share IHG’s vision for the brand and possess the necessary skills and resources
to operate a portfolio of hotels directly, with IHG’s support. IHG will focus its
Holiday Inn Express development efforts on China’s gateway cities and major economic
centres, with the intention to partner with franchisees on a multi-property basis,
and will continue to offer management services for Holiday Inn Express investors who
prefer to have their hotels managed by IHG.
Imbardelli added that over the years IHG has developed strong relationships with a
broad base of talented business partners in China, several of whom have indicated
their interest in making Holiday Inn Express a significant part of their future
business focus. He said: “Introducing the franchise programme is a logical extension
of IHG’s growth strategy in China, where we have the depth of management talent,
scale, local resources and widespread distribution to effectively support our
Holiday Inn Express is a smart, innovative and refreshing hotel choice, offering
high-quality, reliable and well-designed hotel accommodation with focused services.
Hotel owners worldwide have embraced the brand as a smart investment choice and,
with 574 new Holiday Inn Express hotels in the global development pipeline, the
brand is one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the world.
In China, the rapid expansion of domestic business as well as leisure travel has
exposed the need for a credible hotel product positioned between full-service four
star hotels and budget hotels. Holiday Inn Express fills this gap, offering value
and convenience to China’s savvy business and leisure travellers.
The first Holiday Inn Express hotels in Greater China have been launched in cities
such as Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian and Tianjin. Five more Holiday Inn
Express hotels are scheduled to open in 2007, covering new markets such as Suzhou
and Hefei, as well as extending the brand presence in Shanghai.