IHG eyes China expansion in the next five years

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced its plans in Greater China, as the company eyes to recruit another 110,000 staff to support its growth that involves doubling the number of hotels in China in the next three to five years.

Already, China is IHG’s second largest market after the US, and is likely to surpass the US to become the company’s largest market by number of rooms by 2025. IHG has been in China for 30 years. 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 plans to recruit more than 110,000 employees between 2013 and 2015.

Furthermore, IHG's development strategy includes deepening penetration in key cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou, as well as targeting Tier 2, 3 and 4 cities.

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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 previously announced its target to locate the brand in more than 100 cities in China, as well as in key gateway cities in other countries.

In 2012, China’s domestic trips reached 2.9 billion, a 10 percent 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 travelers and 133 million inbounded travelers in 2012. By 2020, the number of outbound travelers is expected to reach 150 million.