IHG Hotels and Resorts, a prominent player in the hospitality industry, exceeded pre-pandemic performance in 2023, riding on exceptional growth within the tourism sector, according to a senior company representative. Headquartered in the UK, the company operates renowned brands such as Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, as well as luxury labels like Intercontinental and Six Senses across India. In January of the same year, IHG launched its premium lifestyle brand, voco, inaugurating its first property in Jim Corbett, North India. Throughout the year, the group sealed a total of 15 new deals, signaling robust expansion. “This year has been a record year for us, on both the operations and growth dimensions. The industry in general has seen unprecedented growth and that has had a positive impact on our business,” Sudeep Jain, Southwest Asia managing director, IHG Hotels & Resorts. On the revenue side, the company has increased its market share by 1.2 per cent this year, Jain said. “Our revenues are coming from mainly two sources – increasing occupancy and increasing room rates,” he added.
The group’s average occupancy across the portfolio is at about 75 per cent – up from 60 per cent pre-Covid-19. “This is even when full corporate travel is not back yet. It still has some impact of Covid, which is affecting us. But despite that, it’s been a record year,” he added. While its India portfolio has grown 286 per cent in the last decade — with the addition of 30 properties and 4,822 rooms — the company plans to add another 45 hotels in the next three to five years to increase the number of rooms to 6,996. Jain credits this year’s growth to Indian traveller’s mindset shift. “I think revenge travel may not be the right word anymore. But it’s just a mindset shift to where people now want to travel much more than normal,” he said, adding that improved infrastructure too has provided impetus to the industry. “The roads have improved, and there are more facilities available — like DigiYatra — that make travel convenient. People tend to ignore the changing surroundings, but there has been a massive change in enabling factors, which have helped the incidence of travel,” he added.
Additionally, in terms of signings, the group increased its market share by over 20% this year. Jain highlighted that among the 15 new properties incorporated this year, over a third belonged to the luxury and premium segments. This included the addition of five voco properties situated in Jim Corbett, Gurugram, Mumbai, Goa, and Amritsar airport. “While the Holiday Inn family is my mainstay, we’re focused on the luxury and lifestyle side for the coming year,” he said, adding that they are in talks with partners to debut their luxury brands — Regent and Kimpton in India. “I would like to bring Regent and Kimpton into the country, which we’d like to debut in the metro cities as these offerings work more there. We’re not going to compromise on the right location, right product, and right partner,” he said. As much as 75 per cent of the group’s revenue share currently comes from its mainstream brands, about 20 per cent from premium offerings and the rest from luxury properties. Apart from the luxury lifestyle space, Jain said, he also wants to focus on the resort offerings. “They create a sort of halo effect. I want to paint the country blue and green,” he said. (Source Business Standard)