IHG is arriving in New Caledonia, a "special collectivity" of France in the southwest Pacific Ocean, with the signing of three hotels that will open between 2021 and 2024. The hotels are all part of a long-term management agreement with owner Société de développement et d'investissement des Îles Loyauté, or SODIL.
The new-build InterContinental Lifou Wadra Bay Resort will be a 50-room property on Lifou, the largest of the Loyalty Islands (one of the three administrative subdivisions of New Caledonia). Designed by local architect Atelier 13 and interior designer Chada, the resort is already under construction and will open in November 2021. Beyond its guestrooms, the hotel will have several dining options, a gym, a spa and an outdoor pool.
The current Hotel Paradis d’Ouvéa will rebrand to the Holiday Inn Resort Ouvéa in November 2021 following a renovation. Located on the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ouvéa Island, the 34-room resort will have all-day dinning, a bar and an outdoor pool.
The current Hotel Drehu Village, meanwhile, will become the Holiday Inn Resort Lifou in 2024 following a renovation. The beachfront resort will have 30 guestrooms as well as an all-day restaurant and outdoor pool.
In a statement, Abhijay Sandilya, IHG’s VP of development for Australasia, Japan & Pacific, noted the Loyalty Islands currently have no internationally branded hotels, and the new properties would "boost the territory’s global profile."
"The travel and tourism sector is growing twice as fast as the world economy and supports one in ten jobs, making it a true growth engine," said William Ihage, general manager of SODIL. "New Caledonia is an aspirational destination for travelers from around the world, and visitor arrivals are on an upwards trajectory. In fact, in 2017, more than 120,000 tourists and 493,000 cruise ship passengers visited New Caledonia, and we’ve seen a large increase in the number of Australian, New Zealand and Japanese tourists, as well as continued visitors from France."
IHG currently has 51 hotels operating under four brands in Australasia, with another 35 in the pipeline, including Hotel Indigo.