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InterContinental Hotels Group Deploys Simplified Chinese Website for the Holiday Inn Brand
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Shanghai, 12 February 2004 – InterContinental Hotels Group has unveiled innovative new e-commerce services to enhance the online reservation experience. The Group has launched its fully integrated Holiday Inn Chinese language website www.holidayinn.com.cn, which offers real time content and booking facilities in Simplified Chinese. In addition, the Group is the world’s first hotel company to simultaneously launch guaranteed reservations on the website even if the customer does not use a credit card.

Said Mr A. Patrick Imbardelli, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, InterContinental Hotels Group, “This innovative e-commerce initiative continues to place us as a leader in the hotel industry. It will be welcomed by our customers in China and around the world who can now make reservations for our hotels across the globe, without a credit card and in simplified Chinese too. Given the pervasiveness of the Internet and with our technology expertise, this initiative will prove to be a strong revenue driver for the Group and most importantly, setting new industry benchmarks for online reservations.” 

Added Mr Craig Hewett, Director, E-Commerce, InterContinental Hotels Group, “Our experience tells us that travellers everywhere are concerned about four things – convenience, reliability, security, and privacy of online transactions.  Only IHG has delivered a direct Internet solution to address these needs through the convenience of reservations in Chinese, guaranteed reservations, and independently certified security and privacy, once again demonstrating our commitment to our customers around the world.” 

The new Holiday Inn Chinese website caters to the needs of Chinese travellers worldwide. Chinese customers can now make online reservations with the added ease and convenience of this new Chinese language website. In addition, customers will not be required to use a credit card in order to secure a guaranteed room reservation. The InterContinental Hotels Group is the only global hotel company to recognize the importance of these key benefits to their Chinese customer base.

The new Holiday Inn Chinese website enables customers to search for hotels, select arrival and departure dates and confirm their stays online. Changes to reservations details can also be made online. Bookings can be confirmed either with a credit card or through offline payment, by cash, money order or cheque. But rooms are also guaranteed until 4pm on the day of arrival without prior deposit.

The new Holiday Inn Chinese website is fully integrated with InterContinental Hotels Group’s global reservations system, which means that customers can receive promotional information and the latest room rates in real-time. The website is also equipped with the Group’s “Quick Reservation” functionality, which enhances the speed of the booking process. The Holiday Inn Chinese website was developed over a period of 24 months following detailed research into customer requirements and preferences. Moving forward, the InterContinental Hotels Group will be implementing the next phase of website development by introducing personalisation features and integrating the feature-rich web offerings of the award-winning Priority Club Rewards loyalty program. Also in the pipeline are the InterContinental Hotel and Crowne Plaza websites.

Customers who book online through any of the Group’s websites can also rest assured that they will always get the best available rate and that their security and privacy are protected. InterContinental Hotels Group is the first hotel company to complete TRUSTe's extensive certification process and to display the TRUSTe Privacy Seal. TRUSTe runs an award-winning privacy certification and seal program and awards its seal to websites that adhere to established privacy standards. 

Said Mr Hewett, “By completing the rigorous certification process of an independent, non-profit third party, InterContinental Hotels Group has led the industry in commitment to customer privacy protection. And with our new Holiday Inn Chinese Website and payment options, we have leveraged our global infrastructure and expertise to extend our leadership in the area of e-commerce innovations.” 

Each day, over US$3.5 million in reservations is booked via direct Internet sites of the InterContinental Hotels Group, which has a long track record of world’s firsts. The Group was the first to open a call centre in Guangzhou to cater to Chinese customers. It was the first hotel chain to accept Internet bookings. And InterContinental Hotels Group was also the first in the industry to enable customers to review, cancel or modify reservations made via any channel on the companies’ direct Internet websites. 

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)], owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, more than 3,400 hotels and 530,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world (www.ichotelsgroup.com). The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn ® Hotels and Resorts, Express By Holiday Inn®, Staybridge Suites®, and Candlewood® Suites, and also has a controlling interest in Britvic, the second largest soft drinks manufacturer in the UK.

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Contact:
InterContinental Hotels Group
Joanna Ong
Tel: (65) 6395 6074
www.intercontinental.com

 
Also See: Clarence Tan Appointed Vice President Business Support, Asia Pacific for InterContinental Hotels Group / January 2004
Holiday Inn Vista Shanghai Achieves Record 64% Occupancy & Positive Net Operating Profit In Its First Month / Sept 2003
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