Update on IHG’s new brand in China

A Wednesday MarketWatch report from London offered more details on IHG’s plans for introducing its new upscale, still unnamed brand created specifically for the Chinese market.

Jan Smits, chief executive of the Asia, Middle East & Africa operations, said in an interview that IHG has signed 12 initial contracts for the new brand, including deals in Beijing and Shanghai, as well as second- and third-tier cities. He added that IHG wants to expand the new brand outside China over the next few years to attract the growing number of outbound Chinese tourists.

Smits also referenced India, where he said IHG wants to grow to 150 hotels by 2020 from its present 14. To get a head start on that ambitious program, IHG has a deal in place with Duet India to build 19 Holiday Inn Express hotels over the next five years.

Overall, Smits said IHG want to double the size of its business in China, India and the Middle East over the next few years.