IHG sets sights on supporting tourism growth in Mexico

IHG sets sights on supporting tourism growth in Mexico

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s largest hotel companies, announced its further support of global efforts to boost tourism as world leaders of the G20 recognised the sector’s potential to boost growth and employment. Kirk Kinsell, IHG board member and president, the Americas, took part in a trade mission with the British Prime Minister to Mexico.

With 120 hotels currently open in Mexico, IHG is the country’s largest hotel company by hotel count and number of rooms. Mexico welcomed 23.4 million international visitors in 2011(i) and continues to see year-on-year growth, ranking second behind the United States as the top regional destination for international travellers. The aim of the whole country is to take Mexico from No. 10 to the world’s No. 5 Top Tourism Destination by 2018, as outlined in its National Tourism Agreement.

“Mexico provides many opportunities to diversify in the hotel business, from resort to business destinations, the country can serve several tastes in regards to tourism - adventure, sun, colonial - and has a growing economy in the trillion dollar range,” said Kirk Kinsell, president, the Americas, IHG. “We see a huge opportunity to grow many of our hotel brands, such as InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites, in Mexico.”

IHG has 40 hotels in the development pipeline; five new hotels expected to open by the end of 2012; and four recent signings. New hotels added to the system in the next three years are expected to add 1,650 new jobs to the local economy in addition to the 15,200 employees already working across the IHG family of brands in Mexico.  IHG currently has 10 InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts (2,842 rooms); 17 Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts (3,264 rooms); 53 Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts (7,556 rooms); 37 Holiday Inn Express® hotels (5,077 rooms); and three Staybridge Suites® properties (312 rooms) in Mexico.

IHG and Grupo Presidente, a hotel, restaurant and vacation club operator, recently opened the Presidente InterContinental Santa Fe in Mexico City. The tallest building in the area, the Presidente InterContinental Santa Fe offers stunning views of the Santa Fe area, the Valley of Mexico and the Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes.

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The building’s conversion into the Presidente InterContinental Santa Fe represents nearly a $35 million investment, with the creation of 200 new jobs during the construction phase and more than 350 jobs added to operate the hotel and its restaurants.

IHG has a strong relationship in Mexico with Grupo Presidente, which currently operates 12 hotels — ten under the InterContinental brand and two Holiday Inn hotels — plus more than 50 bars and restaurants.

In 2012, IHG also opened the Holiday Inn Tijuana Zona Río, with 127 rooms, located five minutes from the San Diego, Calif. border with easy access to the main industrial and commercial zones in the city.

The following IHG hotels are slated to open in Mexico before the end of 2012:

- Holiday Inn Express Guaymas, 130 rooms, July 2012

- Hotel Indigo Veracruz Boca del Río, 106 rooms, August 2012

- Holiday Inn Monclova, 128 rooms, November 2012

- Holiday Inn Express Monterrey Plaza Tanarah, 170 rooms, December 2012

- Holiday Inn Express Queretaro, 105 rooms, December 2012

IHG had four recent signings in Mexico, including:

-Presidente InterContinental Queretaro, 220 rooms, slated to open Q4 2013

- Staybridge Suites San Luis Potosi, 100 suites, slated to open Q2 2014

- Holiday Inn Express Xalapa, 110 rooms, slated to open Q2 2014

- Holiday Inn Express Veracruz Boca del Rio, 112 rooms, slated to be open Q2 2014

IHG has a 42-year history in Mexico with the first Holiday Inn opening in Acapulco in 1970. With more than 40 years serving the market, Holiday Inn has positioned itself as the leader in the upper mid-scale market in Mexico.

As IHG continues its growth strategy in emerging markets like Mexico, there is a focus on strengthening the economic prospects of the communities in which IHG operates through a unique program, IHG Academy. Through the program, hotels work with community and educational institutions to give future employees real-world hospitality experience. This raises job skills and creates economic opportunity for our hotels while creating a pipeline of prepared and engaged potential talent.

IHG has two IHG Academy programs in Mexico, which operate in partnership with the Youth Career Initiative (YCI). These programs support marginal communities by offering skills development and training opportunities, including work placement in hotels such as Presidente InterContinental Mexico and Presidente InterContinental Puerto Vallarta. IHG Academy also benefits the community by offering improved job prospects and a stronger ability to support family. Nearly 50 participants have been involved in the program with 15 currently employed by IHG hotels.

(i) Source: World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), UNWTO Tourism Highlights 2012 Edition.