InterContinental to double China presence

InterContinental to double China presence

InterContinental has outlined plans to double its presence in China over the next five years – with the addition of 146 hotels to its portfolio.

The group is already the largest foreign operator in the country, with a total of 131 properties in operation, and recently opened locations in Nanjing and Shanghai.

InterContinental Hotels Group chief executive, Andy Cosslett, explained: “Our strong partnerships with hotel developers in Greater China enable us to develop high quality hotels in key locations.

“By establishing ourselves as the first international hotel company in China with the Holiday Inn Lido in Beijing in 1984, we now have an extensive infrastructure with over 40,000 people across the country and a presence in over 40 major, secondary and tertiary cities.”

As many as 87,000 thousand jobs could be created in China as a result of the decision, stated InterContinental.

The Chinese market has rebounded quickly from the industry downturn, with the group reporting RevPAR growth of 22.2 per cent at its first quarter trading update in May.

In recent weeks Ritz-Carlton, Club Med, Carlson and Marriott have all outlined plans to increase their presence in China.

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In 2010 alone InterContinental plans to open seven properties under its own name, a further seven under the Crowne Plaza brand and offer the debut of Hotel Indigo in an outstanding location on the Bund in the centre of Shanghai.

“A recent guideline issued by China’s State Council confirmed the Chinese Government has established tourism as a key economic pillar, with a total of 25 national and regional development plans in place with tourism as a strategic focus,” added Mr Cosslett.

As part of the move the Government also investing US$120 billion in its railway network, laying over 85,000 kilometres of freeway and constructing 97 new airports to upgrade the transport infrastructure across the country.