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IHG Launches Hotel Franchising Program for Holiday Inn Express in China
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Shanghai, April 19, 2006 – IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) announced today that it will offer a hotel franchising program for the Holiday Inn Express brand in China. This announcement 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.”

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. 
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Holiday Inn Express is a smart, innovative and refreshing hotel choice, offering high-quality, reliable and well-designed hotel accommodation with focused services. Hotel owners worldwide have embraced the brand as a smart investment choice. With 574 new Holiday Inn Express hotels in the global development pipeline, the brand is one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the world. In China, the rapid expansion of domestic business as well as leisure travel has exposed the need for a credible hotel product positioned between full-service four star hotels and budget hotels. Holiday Inn Express fills this gap, offering value and convenience to China’s savvy business and leisure travellers. 

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.

Holiday Inn Express was established in the US in 1991 and has a current portfolio of nearly 1,700 hotels and more than 143,500 rooms worldwide.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. InterContinental Hotels Group owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 3,700 hotels and 556,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. 

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Contact:

Charles Yap
IHG
Tel: +65 9829 0310
charles.yap@ihg.com
www.ihg.com
 

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Also See: The World's Biggest Hotel Chains Planning Major Expansion in Asia; China Hotel Industry is the Certain Winner / HOTEL Asia Pacific / December 2003
InterContinental Hotels Group Deploys Simplified Chinese Website for the Holiday Inn Brand / February 2004
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