IHG plans mid-scale hotels in small cities to counter slowdown

Courtesy/News Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

New Delhi: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) India is focusing on increasing the presence of its mid-level brands - Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express - to more cities to counter the overall slowdown being faced by the hospitality segment.

Speaking to IANS, the IHG Managing Director (South West Asia) Sudeep Jain, however, said that in the smaller cities the company has not witnessed a "dramatic slowdown in any manner".

"To counterbalance the slowdown with our brands of Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express in particular, we are entering tier 2,3 and tier 4 cities. There we are not seeing any dramatic slowdown in any manner. That's more virgin territory, under-penetrated, dynamics are different, the owner profiles are different," Jain said, adding that the company has got the right brands to target the smaller cities.

He also said that the company plans to increase the footprint of its luxury brands InterContinental and Crowne Plaza.

"So our development strategy is to grow our mainstream brands and to enter the luxury space and introduce the brands in India, so we are well along the way," he said.

The company plans to open 7-8 hotels in the year ahead, Jain told IANS.

He noted that the company has witnessed doublt-digit growth in the last four years and expects it to continue growing in the current fiscal, although sustaining the high rate may be difficult.

"The growth may be slowing down a little bit, double-digit sustainibility for the fifth year is not easy, but in the same token, it's still a healthy growth," he said, adding that InterContinental Hotels are bullish on the Indian market.

The Managing Director said that last year the company signed up for properties in Deharadun, Calangute in Goa and in Amravati, among others.

On the demand front, he noted that the company opened the Holiday Inn in Agra last year which has drawn good response.

On the business done in 2019, Jain said that InterContinental Hotels India signed 14 property deals, with includes around 2,400 rooms across the major brands.

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