IHG Capitalizes on Strong Growth Potential in Latin America

Company Looks to Leverage Its 60+ Years in Region and Further Expand Opportunities with Both New and Existing Hotel Owners

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) (LSE:IHG) (NYSE:IHG) (ADRs), the world's largest hotel company by number of rooms and with the most experience in Central and South America, is capitalizing on its 63 years in the region by expanding its relationships with both new and existing hotel owners, leading to numerous agreements for new hotels, as well as expansions and renovations of existing properties.

"We offer an outstanding value proposition for hotel owners and developers due to our long history of success in Latin America along with the strongest and most well established brands in the world," says Jim Abrahamson, President, IHG Americas. "To that end, our owners have exhibited great confidence in our brands and our development and operations team as we have the experience and ability to provide outstanding return on investment so they may make the most of the available opportunities."

IHG is the second largest hotel operator in Latin America, with a total of 63 existing hotels in 18 countries. No other international hotel company in Latin America has representation in as many countries. IHG has consistently helped shape the region's hospitality industry with innovative strategies, including a role in the development of hotel owner and franchisee Herman Bern's Panama-based international hotel school, and hotel properties within mixed-use developments, among others.

"One of the more interesting elements of ownership groups in Latin America," adds Abrahamson, "is that these individuals are generally leaders within a broad range of industries, and are among the most diversified investors in their respective countries. To that end, we recognize that they have many options for hotels companies, and we value their trust in IHG."

"For the first half of 2009, our hotel owners have announced an estimated US$175 million in combined totals for new property announcements, which includes property openings and properties under construction throughout the region," adds Alvaro Diago, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Latin America and Caribbean Region for IHG. "With an ever-growing middle-class and business sector, we see great potential in Latin America, particularly for our mainstream brands with the relaunch of the Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express brands. We have had the fortune to successfully operate in the region for decades, and believe that no other hotel company has our broad range of capabilities and system strength to help drive revenues to our hotels."

The relaunch, which has been extremely successful and well received by owners and guests alike, will ensure consistency, an increased level of quality and service, and a new, more contemporary brand identity at all Holiday Inn hotels around the world. IHG's ongoing global $1 billion relaunch of the Holiday Inn brand family is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

"The relaunch brings even more value to a brand that has been in existence since 1952, resulting in franchisee confidence in Latin America," says Abrahamson.

"New openings, new signings and franchise renewals for 2009 were realized throughout nine countries and 20 separate cities in the region," adds Diago. "Having realized such a compelling level of activity, within such a broad geographic region, all in the midst of a challenging global financial climate is a testament to investor's faith in IHG's brands."

Highlights include:

  • The opening of IHG's first Hotel Indigo property in Latin America, the Hotel Indigo San Jose Forum Costa Rica (San Jose, Costa Rica)
  • Opening of the first Holiday Inn Express hotel in the Colombian capital, the Holiday Inn Express Bogota (Bogota, Colombia)
  • Opening of the first Holiday Inn property in the Dominican Republic, the Holiday Inn Santo Domingo (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
  • Agreements with six separate investment groups to develop four new Holiday Inn Express properties, and two Holiday Inn hotels, throughout five key cities in Brazil – Manaus, São Luís, Belem, Maceio, and Cuiabá.
  • Agreement for the first Holiday Inn Express in Honduras (The Holiday Express San Pedro Sula)
  • Agreement to develop the InterContinental Maracaibo (Maracaibo, Venezuela)
  • Agreement to develop the InterContinental Nordelta Buenos Aires, Residence & Spa (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Extension of eight existing Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express franchise agreements throughout Chile and Argentina.
  • Announcement to develop seven IHG properties throughout Central America, the first two of which were announced, The Holiday Inn Escazú San Jose (San Jose, Costa Rica), and the Holiday Inn Express Zona Rosa San Salvador (San Salvador, El Salvador).
  • Signing of two new properties in Argentina, the InterContinental Mendoza (Mendoza, Argentina), and the Holiday Inn Express Rosario (Rosario, Argentina).

IHG has more than 180 hotels in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean, and has been serving Latin America for over 60 years. IHG has hotels situated in nearly every key market throughout Latin America.

Notes to Editors:

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) (LSE: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 4,300 hotels and almost 630,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognized and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty program, Priority Club® Rewards, with 44 million members worldwide.

IHG has nearly 1,600 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 140,000 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.

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