IHG Hotels & Resorts plans to introduce a new luxury & lifestyle collection brand to its stable in coming weeks, aiming to fill a void for independent hoteliers in the market.
Currently, IHG’s high-end hotel brands include Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, along with InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, and Hotel Indigo.
The upscale and luxury segments currently represent 31% of IHG’s system size and 41% of pipeline projects. This new entity will also be positioned at a different price point to the Group’s upscale conversion brand, voco.
Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG Hotels & Resorts, this week said the new collection brand would provide additional choice for guests and owners.
“Over the last four years we’ve added five new brands to create a portfolio of 16, each targeting a specific segment and enhancing our market reach. The addition of a collection brand will provide high-quality independent hotels access to the many benefits of IHG’s system, whilst retaining a property’s distinctive identity.”
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Barr said there are some 1.5 million independently-run rooms in the luxury/lifestyle market segments at the moment, and anticipates that the new collection would lure over 100 hotels within the 1o years.
IHG said of the new collection: “Owners that join IHG’s new collection brand will gain access to our world-class revenue delivery systems, technology platforms, loyalty offering, operational expertise and procurement savings, without high upfront costs or any compromise on their hotel’s distinctive identity or name. For guests, the addition of more unique, exclusive hotels in sought after resort and city locations will add further choice to our Luxury & Lifestyle offer…and will increase the attractiveness of our IHG Rewards loyalty program to its more than 100 million members.”
Across IHG’s entire portfolio of brands, Barr said trading had improved significantly in the first half of 2021, with travel demand continuing to improve as vaccines roll out, restrictions ease and economic activity rebuilds.
“It has been great to see our teams welcome more and more guests back into our hotels, with domestic leisure bookings leading the way, particularly in the US and China. Essential business travel was a key element of our resilience throughout the pandemic, and we are now seeing more group activity and corporate bookings start to come back.”
He said occupancy and rate were continuing to improve, with nearly 50% of our hotels achieved RevPAR above 2019 levels in July.
“The actions we have taken during the last 18 months position us well to exceed our pre-pandemic level of growth and profitability. While there is a risk of trading volatility in the balance of the year, and discretionary business trips, group bookings and international travel will take time to fully recover, we are confident in the strength of IHG’s future prospects,” Barr concluded.
Lead image: Exotic hotel in the tropics | Credit: Quang Nguyen Vinh/Pexels