InterContinental Hotels has reported that a sharp turnaround in its business travel sector and the successful relaunch of its Holiday Inn brand have lifted its fortunes.
Using its AGM for American hoteliers as a forum, the world’s largest hotel chain said that relaunched hotels vastly outperformed their unrefurbished peers. In the former, revPar rose 7 to 8 percent in the third quarter, whilst in its remaining old-style properties revPar growth was only 2 to 4 percent.
The programme amounted to the single biggest relaunch in global hospitality. IHG itself spent only $60m on the changes, with its franchisees funding the rest. The total cost of the programme is estimated at $1bn.
The revamp has been fairly basic: new bedding, showers and bathroom amenities and the retraining of 250,000 staff.
Chief Executive Andy Cosslett has been praised for recognising that Holiday Inn needed to be known for consistency and saw, in 2005, that up to 20 percent of the estate was in disrepair, thereby undermining that effort.
The company began disposing of 1,000 hotels over five years (1,200 have been added in their place), and in 2007 announced the official relaunch, complete with a new logo that would only go up on refurbished venues.
InterContinental also said on Monday that revpar across its brands rose 6.7 per cent in the Americas and unveiled an agreement with Las Vegas Sands that will attach the IHG brand to the US resort-developer’s Venetian and Palazzo hotel-casinos in Las Vegas.
It adds 7,000 rooms to InterContinental’s Las Vegas offering and gives the company its first presence on the Strip.