September 12, 2008 // Franchising.com // Wuhan, - IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, today announced it has signed deals to manage two new hotels in Central China's gateway city of Wuhan, taking a huge step in its strategic expansion into the Central and Western China market. With a total of 1,300 rooms, the two hotels are expected to open in 2012.
The two hotels, InterContinental Wuhan and Holiday Inn Wuhan New City, will be located at the Wuhan New City International Expo Centre, the largest facility of its kind in Central China, covering 1,000,000 square metres.
These signings further demonstrate IHG's pioneering vision for the development of the hospitality industry in China, by building networks in second tier cities in Central and Western regions in China with previously untapped potential.
Edmond Ip, chief operating officer, IHG Greater China said, "The vast central and western areas of China represent huge potential for the hotel industry and IHG is taking the lead by establishing a presence in these up-and-coming regions. Wuhan is a growing base for the automotive industry, and this, combined with its rising status as a regional business centre will drive demand for the meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition market and provide a solid revenue stream for both new hotels."
The two new hotels are owned by Wuhan New City International Expo Centre Co., Ltd, a joint venture between Wuhan Urban Construction Investment & Development Group Co., Ltd and Chengdu Convention and Exhibition Group, a long-term partner of IHG in seven other hotels. IHG's previous co-operation with Chengdu Convention and Exhibition Group includes the landmark deal signed in February 2006 with six hotels in the Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou area, a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization) World Natural Heritage site and the 1,500-room Crowne Plaza Century City Chengdu, the world's largest Crowne Plaza hotel.
"IHG is known as a 'partner of choice' which creates great value for hotel owners. Its strong operational system and diverse portfolio of brands offers us the ability to target different segments of the expanding hospitality market," said Chen Yaoqing, chairman of Wuhan New City International Expo Centre Co., Ltd.
Wuhan is strategically located on the Yangtze River and many of China's major railways and highways linking east and west China converge on the city. Wuhan New City, which is still under construction, is like Pudong in Shanghai and will become an economic powerhouse of Wuhan as well as Central China. It includes large exhibition and convention facilities, office buildings, high-technology zone, hotels and residential apartments. Wuhan New City International Expo Centre, where the two hotels will be located, is expected to be at the heart of this new city.
As the largest international hotel operator in Greater China, IHG is continuing to expand its presence in the country. As of today, IHG has 97 hotels open in Greater China and 100 more in the pipeline.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 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 39 million members worldwide.
IHG has more than 1,700 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 150,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.
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. For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at www.ihg.com/media