IHG Hotels & Resorts CEO Keith Barr has reiterated the dominance of the hospitality company’s namesake, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, as the accommodation brand with the widest hotel global footprint in the luxury sector.
IHG’s collection of InterContinental branded hotels has expanded recently with openings in Dongguan and Chongqing in Greater China, and the upcoming InterContinental Rome conversion marks the return of the brand to Italy. InterCon will also re-enter Morocco with a new management deal in Rabat.
“We continue to reinforce the position of InterContinental as the largest global luxury hotel brand. It is now present in over 60 countries with more than 200 hotels,” Barr said this week.
Other forthcoming conversions include the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel in Chiang Mai and Fiji’s Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has another 69 properties in the pipeline.
Luxury & Lifestyle focus
Over the past six-years, IHG Hotels & Resorts has continued to bolster luxury assets across multiple brands. The group’s luxury brands now account for 10% of IHG’s current systemwide accommodation and represent 8% of future growth.
“Since 2015, we have added Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Regent Hotels & Resorts and Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas to our Luxury & Lifestyle offer, alongside accelerating the international expansion of our InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Hotel Indigo brands.”
“Across these five brands, which capture uniquely different stay occasions, we opened 32 hotels in 2020 to reach a portfolio of 431 in over 70 countries. There were 56 hotels signed into the pipeline, with conversions being ~30% of these and representing an ongoing opportunity across our Luxury & Lifestyle offer,” Barr said.
Last year, IHG added seven new signings to the Six Senses brand, including Belize, Brazil, Italy, Japan and Saudi Arabia, increasing the global pipeline to 31.
Renovation is progressing to rebrand the InterContinental Hong Kong back to Regent; Regent Phu Quoc in Vietnam will open later this year, increasing the estate to eight. Recent signings will see the brand enter the Middle East, including Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Kimpton opened another 16 hotels in the year, taking the estate to 73. Major openings included Miami Palomar South Beach, Maa-Lai Bangkok, the first in South East Asia, and Shinjuku Tokyo. The brand’s global pipeline stands at 32, with the signing of Kimpton Shanghai New Bund. Kimpton is also developing strongly in key resort destinations, signing further properties in Mallorca and Mexico.
The Hotel Indigo brand now has 125 open hotels and a pipeline of 104. Openings included five hotels in the US, Dubai Downtown and in Bath, UK, a conversion property in Italy and brand debuts in Japan and Cyprus. Recent signings include a brand entry in Adelaide, Australia and a resort in the Galapagos.
COVID-19 pandemic impact
Barr provided the update as part of his commentary on IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Full Year 2020 financial results in which, unsurprisingly, the group’s operating profit slumped 124% from a profit of US$630 million in 2019 to a loss of US$153 million in 2020.
“Since the very start of the pandemic, we have worked tirelessly to prioritise the health and safety of colleagues and customers, quickly protect our business and our thousands of hotel owners and help support a strong recovery as travel returns.”
“Despite so many challenges in 2020, the long-term confidence we share with our owners was reflected by another 285 hotels opening during the year and an average of almost one new signing a day.”
“Our preferred brands in attractive markets and segments, even stronger technology and loyalty platforms and a substantial proportion of our pipeline being under construction, give us confidence in our ability to achieve industry-leading net rooms growth as the market recovers,” Barr said.
Lead image: InterContinental Hayman Island Resort, One Bedroom Hayman Suite