Asia milestone for IHG Hotels & Resorts

Growing global hotel group IHG Hotels & Resorts has hit the milestone of 1,000 hotels open across Asia Pacific, as it looks to exploit expected strong medium term growth in travel across the region

IHG is celebrating the milestone of opening more than 1,000 hotels across Asia Pacific. The achievement comes after a busy year of openings across the region, as the group looks to continue growing its presence across its many brands.

Of the total, more than 700 properties are in Greater China, where IHG has been present for many years, even launching China-specific brands to suit local tastes.

Rising demand

According to figures from the International Air Transport Association, the Asia Pacific region is the part of the world likely to see the strongest growth in passenger numbers, over the medium term. New airlines and new flight schedules are responding to growing demand, while national governments are keen to boost visitor numbers, cutting visa restrictions to make travel easier and cheaper for inbound tourists. And research by the Global Business Travel Association suggests business travel spend across Asia Pacific is likely to grow to USD800bn by 2027.

“To hit 1,000 open hotels in Asia Pacific is a fantastic achievement for IHG in one of the most dynamic regions in the world,” said Rajit Sukumaran, the group’s SVP & managing director, East Asia & Pacific. “We’re seizing the great long-term opportunities by investing in our brands, delivering great returns for our owners, and driving growth in our markets.”

Strong growth is assured, with IHG’s Asia Pacific pipeline numbering 705 hotels, in 22 countries across 13 brands.

Growth across all segments

Driving growth in the region are signings for the Holiday Inn brand family, which make up more than half of the current opened portfolio, and around half of the signed pipeline. But there is also a desire to build other segments of the market, said Sukumaran. “We’re also investing in our six luxury and lifestyle brands, which account for 22% of our global pipeline, around twice the amount five years ago. We have built up a strong presence in this segment in the region, with 45% of the global luxury and lifestyle pipeline in APAC.”

IHG is also about to debut its new conversion brand, Garner, in the region, with the signing of three hotels in Osaka that will switch to Garner in the coming months. Axe Management Partners will refurbish the properties before relaunching them, adding more than 500 rooms to InterContinental’s portfolio in Japan.

In many Chinese destinations, IHG’s upcoming openings feature the launch of two of the group’s brands, sometimes in co-located properties. At Shanghai’s Snow World, for example, it will launch a Vignette Collection and Crowne Plaza. And in the Shanghai Hongqiao CBD, there will be both a Voco Suites and an EVEN hotel, strategically located near the National Exhibition and Convention Center and Shanghai Hongqiao Airport.

The much favoured Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands will see openings at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Hangzhou International Expo Center, Guiyang’s Longdongbao International Airport, Shanghai Jing’an Temple and Shenzhen Futian Center.