IHG commits to growth of 'preferred brands' in key cities

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Intercontinental hotels group, Hotel chains, Hotel

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has said its 'preferred brands', such as Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, will drive growth despite launching two new concepts in 2012
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has said its 'preferred brands', such as Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, will drive growth despite launching two new concepts in 2012
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has said its growth strategy in Europe will focus on key cities as the company as a whole concentrates on its 'preferred brands' such as Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza.

In its 2013 annual report, the UK-based firm said it was 'delighted' to launch two new concepts last year but added it remained committed to delivering value for hotel owners and company shareholders by concentrating on its two largest brands.

Evolve

In 2012, IHG introduced Hualuxe Hotels & Resorts to target the Chinese traveller and, in the USA, launched the 'wellness-focused' Even Hotels. There have already been 15 signings in China to the luxury Hualuxe brand.

"Each of these brands has been created through a deep understanding of the trends in the lodging marketplace combined with genuine insight into guest occasions and needs," said Richard Solomons, IHG chief executive.

"They have been designed to meet a need which we feel is underserved in the market today and which can deliver significant revenue and profit opportunities over the longer term, in our two largest markets.

"New brands are exciting and have the potential to create value in the future and IHG has a track record of successful brand launches. But it is our powerful portfolio of established brands that create value for our owners and shareholders today – and we never lose sight of that fact as we continually evolve and refine them," he added.

Key cities

Solomons said despite an uncertain economic future in certain markets he remained positive about long-term travel trends and the drivers of demand for the hotel industry.

Worldwide, IHG currently operates more than 4,600 hotels across its eleven brands. The company continues to expand focusing on an asset-light strategy.

In Europe, chief executive Angela Brav said its strategy was to achieve high-quality growth by focusing on key cities across Europe, building national scale in priority markets such as the UK, expanding the boutique Hotel Indigo brand in key gateway cities and localising the Holiday Inn Express brand.

"2012 has been an excellent year for Europe in spite of the tough macroeconomic climate," Brav said. "We opened 39 hotels and signed another 48.

"The UK continues to be our biggest market where we exceeded the number of signings from last year and also opened our first new InterContinental Hotel in London for over 36 years – the InterContinental London - Westminster," she added.

There are currently 91 hotels in the European pipeline, amounting to more than 15,000 rooms.

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