Inter Continental launches boutique hotel brand in Asia

Friday, 3 December 2010 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

SHANGHAI (Reuters): InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG) launched its first upscale boutique brand in Asia in Shanghai on Thursday, a nod to the city’s rising prominence as a business and tourism hub.

IHG launched Hotel Indigo, a 184 room waterfront property on Shanghai’s picturesque promenade, the Bund. The property, featuring locally sourced materials and art reflecting Shanghai’s history, is due to open by the end of the year.

“The historic nature of the location, the visibility of the hotel and also the excitement of the city in general; it is one of the most progressive, ever-changing cities in all of China, so really it is a good fit for Hotel Indigo,” said IHG Regional Manager Keith Barr.

IHG said it planned to open more Indigo branded hotels in Asia over the next three years, including in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei and Xiamen. IHG already has Indigo hotels in London, Costa Rica and the United States.

“The key thing is for us is making sure we have customers who want to travel there, and what drives Indigo is ‘psychographics’ rather than demographics,” Barr said of the strategy for expanding Hotel Indigo in mainland China.

In October, IHG, the world’s biggest hotelier by room count, said revenue from Greater China would exceed $1 billion for the first time this year.

In June, the company said it planned to more than double in size in China in the next five years. The British group, which operates the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, as well as InterContinental, operates 131 hotels in China with 149 in the pipeline.

Marriott International Inc, the largest U.S. hotel chain said earlier this year that it planned to double the number of Marriott branded hotels in China within five years, and intended to introduce a lower-priced brand in the near future.