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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Intercontinental Hotels Group aims to bring global brands Regent, Kimpton to India

Sudeep Jain, MD South West Asia, IHG Hotels and Resorts, said they have worked out an asset-light expansion plan

Pinak Ghosh Calcutta Published 12.02.24, 10:44 AM
Sudeep Jain

Sudeep Jain Sourced by The Telegraph

Hospitality major Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is exploring opportunities to bring global brands such as Regent and Kimpton to India as it looks to double its presence over the next two to three years.

Sudeep Jain, MD South West Asia, IHG Hotels and Resorts, said they have worked out an asset-light expansion plan.

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"The next two-three years will see us double our portfolio, adding 45 hotels with close to 7,000 keys in India," Jain said.

IHG at present has 45 hotels in India with over 7,600 keys, across five brands — in the luxury and lifestyle segment, two Six Senses properties and two InterContinental Hotels and Resorts; in the premium segment, 10 Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts; and in the mainstream segment, 31 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels.

"In 2023, we debuted our global lifestyle brand voco with signings in Jim Corbett, Gurgaon, Amritsar Mumbai and Goa. The brand has received a phenomenal response, and we are getting a lot of interest from the investors. Discussions are underway to bring brands such as Staybridge Suites, Regent Hotels and Resorts, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, and the recently launched Vignette Collection," he said.

Jain said the increasing demand for branded accommodations in the smaller cities as well as at offbeat locations will support expansion.

"In recent years, we have signed multiple hotels from the Holiday Inn brand family in key secondary markets catering to leisure, corporate and religious segments such as Udaipur, Sakleshpur Western Ghats, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jim Corbett, Kasauli and Goa. These are due to open in the coming years. We also have hotels coming in metro cities of Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi," he said.

IHG has seen its business in India in 2023 surpass both the 2019 (pre Covid) and 2022 levels.

"The initial months of 2023 were exceptionally strong, resulting in the highest-ever revenues recorded in many of the hotels. Occupancy levels surged from 60 per cent in Q1 to almost 75 per cent in Q2 2023 — an impressive 26 per cent year-on-year growth for the first half, surpassing 2019 levels by 2 per cent."

Hotels in bigger locations such as Delhi and Mumbai saw strong performance because of the resurgence of international travel, increased business activities and a rise in conferences.

"2024 will continue to be a promising year for domestic travel and an important segment for IHG. Due to remarkable strides and push by the government to build a solid network of air, bus, train connectivity, access and demand to various off-beat destinations for leisure travel have increased manifold," Jain said.

"Staycations and weekend travel demand will continue to rise as well. Religious and spiritual travel is also witnessing a healthy boost in a big way. Moreover, big Indian weddings and social gatherings are back and will continue to drive momentum for us."

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