IHG to boost China presence despite slowing economy

The Chinese economy has had the brakes put on it as of late, but that's not stopping InterContinental Hotels Group. According to an interview on Bloomberg Television, IHG plans to almost double the number of hotels it manages in China, even in the wake of a sluggish economy.

"We've seen the growth flatten out now, but you have to take a long-term view, which is what we do," Richard Solomons, the company's CEO said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Shanghai. "It's going to be a very powerful market for hotels in the long term even if there's some short-term slowdown."

Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brand owner opened the 200th hotel in Greater China, which takes in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. There are 170 hotels in the region and the company plan sot expand to 100 Chinese cities from 70 cities now in the next three to five years.

"Investors soured on China's outlook in a Bloomberg global poll this month, with the share of respondents who see the economy deteriorating doubling from January. The world's second biggest economy grew 7.7 percent in the first quarter, less than 8 percent median forecast in a survey of 41 economists," the article continues. 

Solomons tells Bloomberg that the company is “well placed” in two key areas of the market in China, including its upscale Intercontinental and mainstream Holiday Inn brands even if there are a lot of hotel competitors on the scene.

It is expected that China will have as many hotel rooms as the U.S. by 2025, according to the Denham, an England-based company that first entered China in 1984. It will open its first hotel under a new brand designed to appeal to Chinese travelers next year and has already signed 16 deals, Solomons said.

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