InterContinental Hotels upbeat about having 150 hotels in India

Chennai, Jan 16 (IANS) Global hospitality major InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is looking at new as well as conversions of existing properties to fulfil its aim of having around 100-150 hotels in 10-15 years, said a senior group official.

“India is an important market for IHG and comes next only to the US and China. In South West Asia the group has 27 hotels of which 25 hotels are operating in India,” Shantha de Silva, head of south west Asia for IHG, told IANS.

He was here to formally launch the group’s first luxury beach resort InterContinental Chennai Mahabalipuram Resort — a converted property. On IHG’s expansion, he said, agreements have been signed for all the proposed 51 new hotels — a mix of Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Crowne Plaza brands.

“The new projects are in different stages of development-design, planning and construction,” he said.

Out of the four new hotels in the country this year, IHG will be opening two more in Chennai thereby making the city the first one in India to have all the four operating hotel brands – Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental Hotels and Resorts.

“The target of 100-150 hotels in 10-15 years time is achievable as the total number of properties – operational (25) and in the pipeline (51) – is 76,” Shantha de Silva said.

Speaking about the Indian market he said last year the industry had 60 percent occupancy ratio after a long time but the rates did not firm up.

“There has been large infusion of mid-scale hotels. In India there is lot of domestic demand,” de Silva said.

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