IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, today announces the launch of a new franchise model for its Holiday Inn Express brand in China. The new model, called Franchise Plus, has been specifically tailored for the Chinese market and provides owners with all of the benefits of operating a franchise model, but with additional benefits and features from IHG’s managed model.
This announcement comes as IHG signs its first Franchise Plus agreement with Shanghai Yaqi Business Hotel Co., Ltd., for a 260-room Holiday Inn Express hotel in the Hongqiao area of Shanghai. It also reflects the local dynamics of the China market, which has seen a rapid rise of the middle class in recent years, leading to significant demand for mid-scale hotels in Tier 1, 2, 3 and 4 cities.
Kenneth Macpherson, Chief Executive Officer of IHG in Greater China commented: “IHG has over 30 years’ experience of operating in China and working closely with our hotel owners to deliver on our promise to create Great Hotels, Guest Love. We are also an innovative business with a deep understanding of our guests and their needs. The launch of Franchise Plus for our Holiday Inn Express brand is an important milestone for our business and for the accommodation landscape in China. With IHG’s world-leading expertise in franchising and our more than three decades of operational excellence and knowledge of the Chinese market, we are confident that the new model will be an engine of growth for IHG and our business partners in the coming years.”
Holiday Inn Express is one of the fastest growing mid-scale brands, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary year. There are over 2,400 Holiday Inn Express hotels globally and over 620 in the pipeline. Since its arrival in Greater China in 2004, Holiday Inn Express has quickly become a leader in the mid-scale segment by establishing a presence in more than 30 provinces and cities across the region with 66 opened hotels and another 67 in the pipeline.
As the first international hotel company to enter China in 1984, IHG continues to be a market leader in the region, operating 268 hotels across 100 cities, with another 212 in the pipeline.