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IHG launches franchising program for hotel in China

InterContinental Hotels Group will offer a hotel franchising program for the Holiday Inn Express brand in China. This movement follows the successful opening of the first six Holiday Inn Express hotels…

InterContinental Hotels Group will offer a hotel franchising program for the Holiday Inn Express brand in China. This movement follows the successful opening of the first six Holiday Inn Express hotels and the signing of close to 20 additional management contracts for the brand in Greater China.

A. Patrick Imbardelli, chief executive, IHG Asia Pacific, said: “From the outset, we designed our Holiday Inn Express support platform in China with franchising in mind. Our support model is based on our insights and experience gained from 23 years of successfully operating market-leading hotels in China. This, together with our 50 years of global franchising experience, unparalleled brand equity and our strong local support team, will ensure our success as a hotel franchisor in China.”

According to the group, the Holiday Inn Express China Franchise Program will be offered to hotel owners who share IHG’s vision for the brand and possess the necessary skills and resources to operate a portfolio of hotels directly, with IHG’s support. IHG will focus its Holiday Inn Express development efforts on China’s gateway cities and major economic centres, with the intention to partner with franchisees on a multi-property basis. IHG will continue to offer management services for Holiday Inn Express investors who prefer to have their hotels managed by IHG.

Imbardelli added that over the years, IHG has developed strong relationships with a broad base of talented business partners in China. Several of these partners have indicated their interest in making Holiday Inn Express a significant part of their future business focus. “Introducing the franchise program is a logical extension of IHG’s growth strategy in China, where we have the depth of management talent, scale, local resources and widespread distribution to effectively support our franchise partners,” he said.

The first Holiday Inn Express hotels in Greater China have been launched in cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian and Tianjin. Five more Holiday Inn Express hotels are scheduled to open in 2007, covering new markets such as Suzhou and Hefei as well as extending the brand presence in Shanghai.

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