March 07, 2008 // Franchising.com // InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the biggest hotel operator in the booming Russian international-branded hotel sector, continues its Russian expansion with the announcement of the signing of a further Moscow property, its 7th Holiday Inn in the city.
The new-build 240-room Holiday Inn Moscow Ryazanskiy - developed by SILKTON Ltd and expected to open in mid-2010 - will be the 16th IHG hotel in the rapidly emerging Russian market. Six are already open; the remaining ten are in the development pipeline.
While Moscow dominates Russia commercially, IHG is also capitalising on the growing business and leisure markets across the country. As well as a total of nine hotels in Moscow* and three under construction in St Petersburg, IHG has hotels signed in Samara, Rostov, Chelyabinsk and Novosibirsk.
"There is very strong demand for internationally-branded hotels - the room rates are premium across all brands and we are growing fast," said IHG's VP Strategic Development Russia & CIS, Michael Cooper.
"With approximately 10 per cent of the number of international standard rooms of Paris or London, we believe there is plenty of growth to go for; the market is under-supplied. Our brands are well known and are attracting a growing number of Russian investors keen to invest in the hotel industry."
IHG already has a very good penetration of the Moscow market, with almost 1,400 rooms already open in Moscow rising to more than 2,000 by 2010.
Cooper added: "As well as city-centre hotels, IHG also has signed deals for the Holiday Inn Volomkolamshoye Shosse on the main arterial route into the City, as well as two Holiday Inn hotels in the increasingly important South-East quadrant.
"A buoyant overseas market, increasing domestic business and an emerging domestic leisure market have created great opportunities across the country. Although the high cost of air travel and visa restrictions continue to deter tourism, increasingly Russians across the country are viewing international-branded hotels as their number one choice for business and social events."
As part of its strategy for the Russian market, IHG today also announced it is launching a Russian language website www.IHG.ru which will be fully operational in March 2008.
*As well as seven Holiday Inns opened or in the development pipeline, IHG's Moscow presence also includes the 575-room Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre opened last September - and will include the 205-room new build InterContinental Moscow close to the Kremlin, due to open in 2010.
**According to the Mercer 2007 Cost of Living Survey - which tracks costs for 143 cities across six continents - Moscow came out the world's most expensive city for the second consecutive year.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is one of the world's largest hotel groups by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, almost 4,000 hotels and more than 585,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. IHG owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® and Hotel Indigo®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with over 37 million members worldwide.
The company pioneered the travel industry's first collaborative response to environmental issues as founder of the International Hotels and Environment Initiative (IHEI). The IHEI formed the foundations of the Tourism Partnership launched by the International Business Leaders Forum in 2004, of which IHG is still a member today. The environment and local communities remain at the heart of IHG's global corporate responsibility focus.
IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at http://www.ihg.com/ and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at http://www.priorityclub.com/.