InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is doubling down on the China market and developing brands in the luxury segment to compete against other hospitality giants, according to its chief executive for the country.
“Luxury is a big focus area for us. It’s a USD-60-billion segment that’s expected to grow by half over the next decade,” said Jolyon Bulley, CEO of IHG Greater China.
IHG is opening new hotels in China at a clip, betting that demand will not wane.
In the first quarter alone it opened 11 hotels with 3,000 rooms, on top of 43 hotels that opened in 2017, an annual record for the group.
With a further 75,000 hotel rooms in the pipeline, China will soon account for a third of the group’s global portfolio.
Having signed management contracts with 33 hotels in the first quarter, IHG on Tuesday signed another ten hotels in Sichuan, Chongqing, Shaanxi, Yunnan, Gansu, Guizhou, areas of western China that boast distinctive natural beauty and cultural heritage.
IHG has good reason to bet heavily on China. In the first quarter, revenue per available room(RevPAR), a key metric gauging hotel performance, increased 11 percent in Greater China – 10 percent in the mainland and 15 percent in Hong Kong, well ahead of the 3.5 percent increase worldwide.
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