<li> Thailand and Southeast Asia's first Holiday Inn Express hotel to open in early 2011</li>
<li> Thailand identified as next growth market for the brand</li>
May 14, 2008 // Franchising.com // Bangkok - IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world's largest hotel groups by number of rooms, today announced the signing of its first Holiday Inn Express hotel in Thailand - the Holiday Inn Express Siam Bangkok. This makes Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia and the first in Asia Pacific outside Greater China and Japan to welcome the entry of the successful Holiday Inn Express brand.
Available in over 1,800 locations worldwide and with 730 hotels in the development pipeline, Holiday Inn Express is a smart, innovative and refreshing hotel choice for value-oriented business and leisure travellers. The award-winning hotel brand is one of the fastest growing in the industry, opening on average of two hotels a week around the world. This latest development underscores IHG's increasing presence and continued commitment to Thailand and represents a key milestone in the ongoing expansion of Holiday Inn Express in the Asia Pacific region.
Scheduled to open in early 2011, the 300-room Holiday Inn Express Siam Bangkok will be developed by Amburaya Hotels & Resorts and managed by IHG. The new-build hotel is designed by Bangkok-based architectural firm Architects 49, well-known for designing the Thailand Cultural Centre and the Thai Red Cross Centre. The hotel will be centrally located in Bangkok, just steps away from the National Stadium Skytrain Station, MBK Center, Siam Paragon and Jim Thompson Thai house. A key feature of the hotel will be a cleverly designed Great Room, an all-day social, connection, entertainment and relaxation hub with floor-to-ceiling views of the Bangkok skyline from the seventh floor.
"Holiday Inn Express will add an entirely new travel option to the Bangkok market. Many smart travellers to Thailand want a stylish hotel that offers exactly what they need and none of the expensive things they don't. Holiday Inn Express offers style and quality levels much closer to full service than budget hotels" said Peter Gowers, chief executive, IHG Asia Pacific. "We are delighted to launch our first Holiday Inn Express hotel in Thailand and Bangkok in partnership with the highly respected Amburaya Hotels & Resorts. IHG today has a growing portfolio of hotels in Thailand and we see significant opportunities to further grow our highly successful network of Holiday Inn Express hotels in Thailand."
Gowers added that IHG has experienced significant interest in the Holiday Inn Express brand from developers in Thailand and have several new deals under discussion. "The brand's innovative approach enables us to deliver what guests value most, maximise revenue and keep costs down. Practical design means optimal space utilisation and lower development costs. Flexible and efficient staffing structure delivers lower operating costs. Focused amenities and services mean higher operating margins. It all adds up to superior performance and higher returns to the hotel owner."
Sunny Bajaj, managing director, Amburaya Hotels & Resorts, said: "Our partnership with IHG represents a great opportunity to capitalise on increasing traveller demand for hotels that offer just the right blend of services and facilities without the fuss and extras they don't need. The proven success formula of the Holiday Inn Express brand together with the support of IHG's hospitality expertise made IHG the ideal partner for us. We are confident about the future success of Holiday Inn Express in Thailand."
Holiday Inn Express has expanded rapidly across the globe. In Greater China, there are currently 11 hotels open and 23 new hotels in the pipeline. The brand is now available in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenzhen and Dalian as well as Hong Kong.
IHG currently operates seven hotels in Thailand under the InterContinental and Holiday Inn brands and has another four hotels under development.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [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 590,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world 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, 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.
IHG pioneered the travel industry's first collaborative response to environmental issues as founder of the International Hotels and Environment Initiative (IHEI). The environment and local communities remain at the heart of IHG's global corporate responsibility focus. We're the first major hotel group to have measured our environmental and carbon footprints and we're in the process of setting reduction targets.
With more than 1,600 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG needs to find around 150,000 people over the next few years to meet its global expansion plans.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.
IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at www.ihg.com and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at www.priorityclub.com.
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