InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has created a new franchise model for its Holiday Inn Express brand in China, through which it hopes to further expand the budget hotel concept.
The new model, which has been called ‘Franchise Plus’, has been “specifically tailored for the Chinese market”, according to IHG, and provides owners with a combination of the benefits of franchise model and additional features from IHG’s management model.
And the first Franchise Plus agreement has already been signed. IHG has teamed up with Shanghai Yaqi Business Hotel for a 260-room Holiday Inn Express hotel in the Hongqiao area of Shanghai.
“IHG has over 30 years’ experience of operating in China and working closely with our hotel owners,” said Kenneth Macpherson, IHG’s CEO for Greater China.
“The launch of Franchise Plus for our Holiday Inn Express brand is an important milestone for our business and for the accommodation landscape in China. With IHG’s world-leading expertise in franchising and our more than three decades of operational excellence and knowledge of the Chinese market, we are confident that the new model will be an engine of growth for IHG and our business partners in the coming years.”
Holiday Inn Express first arrived in Greater China in 2004, and the brand now has 66 hotels operating in more than 30 provinces and cities across the region, with another 67 in the pipeline.
Demand for economy and midscale hotels in mainland China is strong, driven largely by the rise of China’s second, third and fourth tier cities, where quality international accommodation is in short supply.
IHG first entered China in 1984 and now operates 268 hotels across 100 cities, with another 212 in the pipeline. It also recently launched its Hualuxe Hotels brand, which is tailored specifically for the Chinese market.