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IHG Works with Hospitality Experts to Identify Key Global Trends
that will Impact the Travel Industry for 2012 and Beyond

25 April 2012 - InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s largest hotel companies, has worked with some of the most influential hospitality experts and travel commentators to identify the key global trends that will have potential impact in 2012 and beyond.

What to expect?
With over 153 million room nights being booked by guests each year, IHG has used its scale to examine insights into how travel and lifestyle habits are changing, in order to be able to design for the future needs of its guests. The contributors to this trends summary were all asked what they thought were the main drivers of change that would influence 2012 in terms of travel and these insights have been reflected in five macro trend areas.

1: REMAPPING: New global travel patterns are impacting local geographies
The remapping trend looks at how our travel and lifestyle patterns are changing and the impact this is having upon urban areas. For example, as we see the rise in populated areas outside of main city centres, smaller cities are being developed. Spas are more likely to be seen in an urban area now over a country retreat and we will see an increase in small communities around airports.
  • 100 new airports will emerge by 2020 in China, while Dubai’s World Central airport will house a golf course and the world’s largest mall.
2: BRAIN SPA: The desire to learn more will influence destination decisions
Brain Spa looks at our growing appetite to expand and keep our intellect in good health – in fact we are prepared to travel for it. Forbes has tipped the market for goods and services that claim to enhance IQ as the next trillion dollar industry and Brain Fitness software is already worth $265 million in the US.
  • The market for goods and services responding to the new demand for mental stimulation is expected to grow between $1 billion to $5 billion by 2015.
3: DEMO-LUXURY: Airport indulgences are at an all-time high
This trends looks at a new type of luxury – it no longer means high-cost but more ‘everyday indulgence’. It looks at how brands are co-creating with customers to offer these indulgences and how we are much more prone to ‘borrowing’ and not ‘buying’ one-off luxury items. As airport turnover goes through the roof – one of these ‘indulgences’ has been identified as the increase in shopping at airports
  • Global airport retailing is now worth 27.1 billion and is the second fastest growing channel of retail after e-tailing as many women prefer to travel light and shop at the airport.
4: THE INTERNET OF THINGS: Using the web to buy ‘in flight’ and get ‘in hotel’
This trend looks at our relationship with the internet and how it will take on a new meaning in the future. It focuses on how the internet will slowly move out of conventional devices such as the mobile and move into less likely items like magazines, for example. We could soon be buying items in-flight and receiving them at our destination. Or, ordering food from our mobiles and it being ready on the restaurant table on arrival – and so the phenomenon ‘from tablet to table’ is born.
  • Did you know that computers of the next generation will need to be 1000 times faster in order to keep up with the speed that the industry is moving
5: PEOPLE PLAY: Consumers will be loyal only if brands ‘play nicely’
This trends looks at how sophisticated brands have become in order to continue to maintain customer loyalty. Game play has become a huge focus area as big brands adopt some of the principles of Facebook and Google.
  • The total spend on loyalty-based game play applications will rise to $1.6 billion globally by 2015 as the war for brand loyalty moves up a gear in response to increasingly savvy consumers.
Says Joe Ferry, IHG Senior Vice President, Global Innovation and Design “IHG is an insight led business and understanding the requirements of our guests both today and pre empting what they may look like in the future is key to building our brands and nurturing loyalty. The Remapping trend, for example, is evidence of this. As we see the rise in populated areas outside of main city centres, our recently launched HUALUXE™ Hotels and Resorts brand will aim to cater for the specific needs of the Chinese traveller and also support the rapid growth of some of these Tier 2 and 3 cities in China.”

Highlighting some of today’s most relevant travel trends, IHG properties are harnessing these in a way to better cater to guest’s needs. Hoteliers are already using the latest technology to facilitate smoother journeys and stress free stays – for example, InterContinental was the first hotel company to have iPads for all of their concierges.

So what does the future hold for us when we travel?
Well, we could be travelling virtually baggage free by being able to rent our clothing and accessories from hotel lobbies, de-stress in special sleeping labs in hotels and stimulate our minds through in-room brain spa menus. We could even be shopping from our mobiles by scanning codes from an in-flight magazine and have items delivered to any hotel in any destination. Watch this space.


Ian Bell OBE, Director, The ARC Addington Fund
Gareth Coombs & Sean Moore, Cambridge Strategy Centre
Laura Craik, Fashion Editor, The Times
Karen Dacre, Fashion Editor, London Evening Standard
Mei Hong Chu, ex-hotelier, Chang Sha
Bill Dodson, author China Inside Out: 10 Irreversible Trends
Shaping China and its Relationship with the World, Principal
Trends Asia Ltd
Jane McGonigal, author, Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World
Damien McKeown, advertising planner
Mark Ratcliff, Murmur Research
Laura Smith, script editor
Sheila Speed, teacher & blogger
The Outside Collective, graphic design
Ekow Eshun, artistic director, ICA

About IHG

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with nine hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, as well as our two newest brands, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts. IHG also manages Priority Club® Rewards, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with over 63 million members worldwide.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,400 hotels and more than 658,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories, and has more than 1,100 hotels in its development pipeline.

IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 new people worldwide across its estate over the next few years and is committed to gender balance throughout its business. We aspire to continue retaining a minimum of 25% female representation on the Board.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Visit for hotel information and reservations and for more on Priority Club Rewards. For our latest news, visit, or

Joanna James
+44 1895 512 112

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IHG Appoints Larry Light as Global Chief Brands Officer / April 2012

IHG Launches HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts, an Upscale International Brand Designed for the Chinese Traveler / March 2012

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IHG Launches EVEN Hotels, the First Mainstream Hotel Brand Focused on Wellness / February 2012

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IHG Appoints Yehuda J. Brener as Director of Sales, Latin America & Caribbean / August 2011

IHG Appoints Tom Singer to the Board and Executive Committee as Chief Financial Officer / July 2011

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IHG Appoints Paul Snyder, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, the Americas Region / July 2011

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IHG Names Ricardo Lopez Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Latin America & Caribbean / May 2011

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