The announcement comes as Richard Solomons, Chief Executive Officer of IHG, joins the British Prime Minister David Cameron in a trade mission to China to boost trade ties between the two countries.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “IHG's plans to double the number of their hotels across China over the next five years is a great example of how British businesses can benefit from China's growing middle class.”
Richard Solomons, Chief Executive of IHG, said: “China is IHG’s second largest market after the United States and is likely to surpass the US to become our largest by number of rooms by 2025. Having been in China for 30 years, IHG has a deep understanding of the market and of consumers’ needs, and we are confident in its future development prospects. We are committed to continuing to grow in China.”
IHG has an industry leading position in Greater China and is well placed to capitalise on the strong demand drivers in the region. With 200 hotels open and 179 hotels in the pipeline, IHG is currently the largest employer among all international hotel companies in the region, with nearly 60,000 employees working at its corporate office and hotels across over 70 cities in the country. In the first three quarters of 2013 alone, IHG signed another 42 new hotels to its portfolio. To support this industry leading pipeline, IHG has today announced plans to recruit more than 110,000 employees between 2013 and 2015.
Furthermore, IHG has a highly ambitious development strategy which includes deepening penetration in key cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou and targeting Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities.
In 2012, IHG launched HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts, a new hotel brand specifically designed for Chinese guests, the first of which is scheduled to open in 2014, with 21 hotels currently in the pipeline. IHG has previously announced its target to locate the brand in more than 100 cities in China, as well as in key global gateway cities in other countries.
In 2012, China’s domestic trips reached 2.9 billion, a 10% year-on-year growth. China has already become the world’s third largest destination for inbound travel, the world’s largest for outbound travel and the world’s largest for domestic travel, with 80 million outbound travellers and 133 million inbounded travellers in 2012. By 2020, the number of outbound travellers is expected to reach 150 million. According to the latest statistics, the total expenditure of Chinese travellers in the UK during the first half of this year has doubled compared to the same time last year. Chinese travellers have for the first time become the UK’s highest spending Asian visitors.
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