InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced in Shenzhen the launch of its 12th IHG Academy. The IHG Academy in Shenzhen is established in partnership with the Shenzhen Tourism College of Jinan University, and its opening marks the expansion of the IHG Academy into its sixth Chinese city.
This is also the first IHG Academy to partner with an undergraduate university, and the first to offer a four-year bachelor’s degree programme in tourism and hotel management. This latest initiative by China’s largest international hotel operator marks a major milestone in the development of the IHG Academy, first launched in June 2006 in Shanghai, and reinforces IHG’s commitment towards training and engaging local talent.
“A sustainable and qualified talent pool is a crucial factor of IHG’s future success and the development of the entire hospitality industry in China,” said Peter Gowers, chief executive, IHG Asia Pacific. “At IHG, we think the most valuable asset we have in our hotels is the people. The rapid growth of the hotel industry in key and emerging cities in China is challenged by a war for talent. With the ongoing expansion of the IHG Academy, we are doing our part to address the demand for trained talent across China.”
Since its launch in 2006, the IHG Academy has established 12 centres in six Chinese cities – Shanghai and Jinan in eastern China, Chongqing in the southwest, Zhengzhou in central China, and Shunde and Shenzhen in southern China.
Each IHG Academy has a partnership with a local tourism college or vocational institution. Courses offered combine theoretical sessions by university faculty members, industry lectures by senior IHG executives and hands-on experience. Each year, approximately 2,000 IHG Academy graduates secure placement at an IHG hotel.
IHG is the largest international hotel group in Greater China, with a portfolio of 83 hotels. Of all the hotel deals signed by international hotel companies in China in 2007, IHG secured 47%. The company is on track to open its 125th hotel in China this year.
IHG has also maintained strong growth in southern China in recent years, with its four hotel brands – InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express – represented in major cities such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen.