InterContinental seeks major China expansion

InterContinental seeks major China expansion

Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) has outlined plans to dramatically expand its presence in Greater China.

Addressing the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) the company said it would double the number of hotels it has in the region - which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan - by 2015.

Pictured: IHG expects to grow in Hong Kong

Strong growth in countries such as Vietnam and Thailand is also expected, with IHG detailing plans to increase the 270 hotels it now has in Asia Pacific to close to 600 over the next three to four years

IHG is already the largest hotel group in the world in terms of rooms offered.

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China Boom

China is set to become InterContinental’s second-biggest market after the United States, where the company has about 3,500 hotels.

While IHG will continue to operate few properties in China, planned sites are three times of the size of comparable locations in America.

Chinese sites are also mainly managed by InterContinental, rather than franchisees, which is more profitable.

The company already has 132 hotels in Greater China, and earlier this week signed up to another four hotels with 700 rooms in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China.

Following that announcement Keith Barr, managing director IHG Greater China, said: “This expansion is a clear sign of our long term confidence in the Greater China market and we are honoured to be partnering with three cutting-edge real estate developers in their respective region.

“As the industry’s international leader in Greater China, IHG’s ambition is to address the growing needs in the country’s most energetic cities.”

Rebound

InterContinental returned to profit in the first half of 2010, as business travellers in the US and Asia took to the road again.

Demand for rooms in London was strong, as financial centres recovered, with the InterContinental on Park Lane seeing a 15pc increase its revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key hotel industry measure.

The company has also carried out a $1bn revamp of the Holiday Inn chain.