IHG to expand global portfolio by nearly a third

Pictured: rendering of Garner, IHG’s new midscale brand. Image © IHG Hotels & Resorts
IHG Hotels & Resorts’ worldwide hotel pipeline reached 286,228 rooms within 239 hotels at the end of Q2 this year, representing 31% of its current system size.

The major group’s leading growth regions will be the Americas and Greater China, plus it is launching midscale conversion brand, Garner.

Swifter pipeline increase

In the first six months of this year, IHG put pen to paper for a further 239 hotels, encompassing 34,167 rooms. The signing rate was 11% higher than the equivalent period in 2022, and helped to increase the pipeline figure by 2.9% year on year.

Within just Q2 2023, 131 hotels of collectively 17,700 keys were added, with the pace 7% ahead of Q1 and 25% more than Q2 2022.

More than 40% of the group’s global pipeline is under construction, broadly in line with prior years.

Americas ahead

In terms of signings figures geographically, the Americas is leading the way, with 13,329 keys/126 properties added to the regional pipeline in H1 2023. Just the Q2 signings total around 7,900 rooms and 72 hotels.

The pipeline stands at 106,045 rooms within 1,008 hotels, which represents 21% of the current system size in the region.

American additions

During the half year in the Americas there were 50 hotel signings across Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, and a conversion portfolio of four beachfront resorts in Mexico added by Holiday Inn Club Vacations which marks the first for the brand outside of the US.

There were 41 signings across IHG’s other suites brands, including eight for Atwell Suites. Six signings for avid hotels included further examples of dual-branded properties with Candlewood Suites. Across the group’s luxury and lifestyle brands within the region, 18 properties were signed, including the first destination in the Americas for the Regent brand at Santa Monica Beach, an InterContinental in Ecuador and three further Kimpton properties.

Greater China growth

Greater China is not far behind the Americas, with 10,882 keys/56 hotels added to its pipeline in the first half of this year, including around 5,000 rooms/28 properties just within Q2. The pipeline stands at 103,022 rooms within 495 hotels, which represents rapid regional expansion, equivalent to 61% of the current system size.

Signings in the half included 29 for Holiday Inn Express and 12 for Crowne Plaza, growing their pipelines to 199 and 72, respectively. Notable planned additions include Holiday Inn Express Shenzhen Futian Center, a conversion deal for Crowne Plaza Hangzhou Linping, and a Holiday Inn Resort property at Wuyi Mountain Water Village, part of the first national parks and one of China’s four UNESCO world cultural and natural heritage sites. There were also three InterContinental signings, including Zhengzhou Zhengdong and Haikou West Coast; IHG’s six luxury and lifestyle brands grew to represent 20% of both the existing system size and the pipeline in the region.

Steady EMEAA

The Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia (EMEAA) excluding Greater China regional pipeline still grew steadily in H1 2023. Signings totalled 9,956 keys within 57 sites,  including around 4,800 rooms/31 hotels during Q2. As at 30 June 2023 the pipeline stood at 77,161 keys and 428 hotels, which represents 32% of the current system size in the region.

During the half there were 15 signings across the Holiday Inn Brand family. As IHG looks to rapidly expand in Saudi Arabia, the signing of Regent Jeddah Corniche is an important first for the brand in the Middle East region. There were eight voco and seven Vignette Collection signings, which along with those for other brands saw conversions represent around 40% of signings for the period. In addition to Regent and Vignette, a very strong period of signings for the group’s luxury and lifestyle brands included three Six Senses, four Kimpton, five InterContinental and eight Hotel Indigo properties.

Equal brand mix

Looking at the global brand signings mix, this has driven the pipeline to be weighted 54% across midscale segments and 46% across upscale and luxury, which over the coming years will become a more even-weighted system .

IHG’s conversions are growing strongly, representing 36% of signings and 42% of openings, excluding Iberostar.

Luxury and lifestyle lift

IHG’s six brands in the luxury and lifestyle category represent 21% of its pipeline, that’s 336 properties containing around 61,000 rooms, around twice the size from five years earlier. Luxury and lifestyle accounted for 26% of signings in the half (15% for Americas, 53% for EMEAA and 16% for Greater China).

InterContinental has a pipeline of 93 properties, equivalent to 33% of current system size. Six Senses, Regent and Kimpton each represent IHG’s success at accelerating the growth and internationalisation of these previously acquired brands: Six Senses’ eight signings in the half grew its pipeline to 39; Regent accrued two signings in the period for further flagship properties in the US and Saudi Arabia, taking its pipeline to 11; Kimpton signed a further nine properties, including its first in Saudi Arabia, and its pipeline is now approaching 50 properties. 

IHG continues to accelerate the expansion of Hotel Indigo, with 15 signings in the period, including five new countries for the brand; its pipeline is set to double the existing system size. Vignette Collection, the group’s luxury and lifestyle conversion brand, signed and opened its first hotel in the US, and now has 25 open and pipeline properties globally.

Premium prospects

Within the premium category, the combined open and pipeline hotels now stands at 733 (43 Hualuxe, 55 Even, 110 voco and 525 Crowne Plaza properties). This category represents 15% of IHG’s current system and 18% of its pipeline.

The voco brand continues to rapidly build, with 16 signings in the period, including a first resort signing in the Middle East and Africa region. Crowne Plaza saw another strong period with 18 signings, with its pipeline representing growth of almost 30% of its current system size.

Essentials expansion

IHG’s essentials category includes the Holiday Inn Express and the Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts brands. In H1 2023, Holiday Inn Express signed another 77 sites, now reaching a pipeline of 640, representing future system growth of 24%. Holiday Inn signed 19 hotels, with its pipeline equivalent to 20% of its current system size.

The avid hotels brand has reached a pipeline of 146 properties, this will more than triple today’s existing system size and further demonstrate the strong guest and owner proposition for this newbuild midscale brand.

Suite success

In the suites category, Candlewood Suites and Staybridge Suites signed 34 properties, increasing their pipelines to around 300, with a strong growth outlook. New IHG brand, Atwell Suites, already has two properties open and signed eight more in the half to take its pipeline to 35.

The Holiday Inn Club Vacations timeshare company signed a conversion portfolio of four beachfront resorts in Cancun, Mexico to expand on its current 28 and marks the brand’s first properties outside of the US.

Conversion brand launch

The group has now also launched a new midscale conversion brand called Garner, which is aiming to be the leading choice for guests wanting great value stays at high-quality properties, and for owners seeking higher returns in the segment.

The brand will offer an affordable price point alongside a convenient location, a sound night’s sleep, and a complimentary hot breakfast – all at a quality and price that IHG feels is currently hard to find in the market.

Many owners have expressed their desire to work with a high-quality conversion brand at a lower price point, and IHG has developed Garner based on their feedback and insight. The group will work with each owner and property site to evaluate the level of renovation required, while still providing Garner’s brand-defining hallmarks and experience.

Garner will be ready to franchise initially in the US by early September, with the first hotels expected to open by the end of 2023, and more than 100 hotels have already expressed definitive interest in the brand. IHG expects the line to reach an estate of over 500 hotels over the next 10 years and 1,000 hotels over the next 20 years.