InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced it has signed 13 new hotels in India, boosting its existing pipeline in the country to 47.
The announcement was made as Jan Smits, chief executive officer for IHG in Asia, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA), took part in a trade mission to India with British Prime Minister David Cameron to boost trade ties between the two countries.
Jan Smits said: “India is an extremely important market for IHG. We have our second largest pipeline in Asia Pacific here after China. With international tourism increasing year on year and the continued strength of domestic tourism, we see incredible opportunities for growth.”
The new hotels will create more than 2,600 new jobs for local people in addition to the 3,400 already working at hotels from the IHG family of brands and corporate offices in India. IHG currently has 13 hotels in ten cities across India including Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai.
IHG first entered India in 1962 when it opened an InterContinental in Delhi. IHG is expanding in cities including business and tourism destinations such as Chennai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Goa.
Domestic demand in India is driving growth in IHG’s midscale brands Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. Over 85 percent of the hotels the company will open in the next few years are focused on the mid market. Today, only 15 percent of the 125,000 hotel rooms in India are in this segment.
Smits said: “When a hotel opens, it spurs infrastructure development and creates job opportunities. We’ll hire more than 10,000 people over the next few years”.
The company is working with local educational institutions to deliver training in hospitality through its IHG Academy program. There are currently nine Academy programs with IHG hotels that have partnered with schools, universities, or community organisations in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Pune.