New Straits Times, Photo Credit to New Straits Times
clock 19-07-2019
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IHG Eyes 10 New Hotels in 5 Years

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) plans to have up to 10 new hotels in Malaysia within the next five years.

IHG vice-president of, development for Southeast Asia and Korea, Serena Lim, said the hotel group is open to both greenfield and brownfield opportunities.

“We have been innovative in the past in adaptive reuse such as Holiday Inn Express Kuala Lumpur City Centre which was converted from the Menara ING office to a hotel. With the right partner and location, we look forward to expanding our footprint in Malaysia,” she told NST Property.

Lim said IHG is committed to building on its strategy and accelerating its growth in the region by working with the right partners in areas where it sees the most potential for growth.

“We always look for opportunities to partner owners of high-quality individual or locally-branded hotels which will benefit from the powerful systems and expertise that we bring... like best-in-class revenue management, technology capabilities and IHG Rewards Club.

“Prioritising investment where it matters most and with our years of experience in operating hotels at scale, we partner with hotel owners to invest where it will drive the greatest commercial gains and provide great brand experiences for guests,” she said.

IHG has five hotels operating under three brands in Malaysia, namely InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.

Lim said next year, IHG will be opening exciting properties, including Holiday Inn Express Kota Kinabalu City Centre and the Holiday Inn Johor Baru City Centre.

“Last October we also announced the signing of Regent Kuala Lumpur, located next to Tun Razak Exchange, our first global signing since the acquisition of the brand,” she said.

By 2021, IHG will open Holiday Inn Sepang.The hotelier recently inked an agreement with Warisan City Development to set up a hotel at the latter’s Kota Warisan project in Sepang.

Kota Warisan is located within close proximity to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which handles almost 60 million passengers a year.

Lim said the target market for the 250-room hotel is layover passengers or airline crews, as well as people in the Sepang area, which is expanding as a key commercial hub in Greater Kuala Lumpur.

“Sepang already hosts several attractions just a short drive from the location of the hotel, such as the renown Sepang International Circuit, Mitsui Outlet Park, Xiamen University Malaysia and KIP Mall. There are also numerous businesses and industrial zones nearby. In 2020, e-commerce giant Alibaba will launch the Digital Free Trade Zone within the airport compound, serving as a regional logistics hub for SMEs (small and medium enterprises).

“Being in close proximity to a major international airport, a large industrial district, a university and a renown racing circuit, the hotel is perfectly positioned for both business and leisure visitors. We believe this is an ideal location for our expansion,” she said.

Lim said Holiday Inn is one of the group’s mainstream brands with hotels offering full service known across the globe for comfort, value, and dependability as well as being the world’s most recognised brand in the world.

If Holiday Inn Sepang is planned as a 3- or 4-star hotel, Lim said IHG is just like other players in the industry which are moving away from star-rating.

Instead, IHG will be using market scale such as luxury, upscale or midscale, she added.


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