IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), the world’s largest hotel company, recently announced the signing of three new IHG Academies in China, all of which are in partnership with colleges that have strong tourism and hospitality management programmes. The three colleges are Tianjin Vocational Institute, Guangzhou City Construction College and Shenzhen Polytechnic, respectively.
As the first international hotel group that entered China 27 years ago, IHG is now China’s largest and fastest growing international hotel company. With 150 hotels currently open, IHG is also China’s biggest employer in the hotel industry with 52,000 employees. IHG plans double its presence with opening of another 150 hotels which require an additional 90,000 employees in the next five years.
The first IHG Academy was established in June 2006 in Shanghai to address the huge demand for trained talents in China’s rapidly growing hospitality industry. The IHG Academy has quickly expanded across China since then, continuously attracting young people dedicated to pursuing their career in China’s burgeoning hospitality industry.
Each IHG Academy works with a local tourism college or vocational institution to offer theoretical sessions by university faculty members, industry lectures by senior IHG executives and hands-on internships. Every year, the IHG Academies collectively produce more than 5,000 experienced graduates ready to enter the hospitality industry.
“We believe that attracting, training and retaining qualified talents is crucial to our success. It is our working staff who make us stand out from competitions and delivers our brand promises. As the industry leader, we are responsible and committed to investing in and nurturing local talents. This is not just for IHG, but for the sustained and greater prosperity of the hospitality industry as a whole,” said Winnie Ng, vice president, Human Resources, IHG Greater China.
China is developing rapidly, which naturally leads to a greater demand for hospitality talents. Greater China will become the world’s No.1 inbound tourist destination by 2015, with an estimated 183 million overnight stays. Meanwhile, China recorded more than 1.9 billion domestic tourist-trips in 2010, and that number is expected to grow in 2011 and beyond. IHG intends to be there every step of the way, serving the growing number of travellers.
IHG is taking its leadership position to the next level by expanding its brands and hotels in the market. Building on the success of its current five hotel brand portfolio, a new China-centric brand is now under development, one specially designed for Chinese travellers. As part of its rapid expansion in China, one in four of the hotel rooms that IHG opens over the next 5 years will be in China. With this much growth, IHG will cement its commitment to offering great career opportunities for local talents in the China market.