IHG signs deal for Avid's Europe debut

The signing ceremony for the first 15 Avid hotels in Germany was held in Munich today. Photo credit: IHG (IHG Avid signing ceremony in Germany)

IHG has announced a multiple development agreement with its existing partner GS Star to bring 15 Avid hotels to Germany, marking the brand's European debut.

Germany is a priority market for IHG with 122 hotels already open or in the development pipeline. Strong growth momentum of 50 new signings since 2015 has been driven by IHG’s 11 active MDA partners, which has expanded IHG’s mainstream presence in Germany particularly with the Holiday Inn and Holiday Express brands. IHG has also been creating wider growth opportunities in the boutique, upscale and luxury markets with the first hotel for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in Germany signed in 2018 and a doubling of the Hotel Indigo footprint with three new openings by 2020.

IHG is now seeking to build further on this hotel growth momentum in Germany, and aims to have Avid be one of its biggest brands in the country. The deal signed today at Expo Real in Munich between IHG and GS Star is the first important step in achieving the goal.

Under the structure of the MDA, hotels will be signed within three years and opened within five. The first new-build Avid hotel is planned to open by 2020. GS Star has already developed IHG’s mainstream hotels in German priority target cities.

“Avid hotels has seen strong signings in the U.S., Canada and Mexico making it IHG’s most successful new brand launch since Holiday Inn Express back in 1990,” said Kenneth Macpherson, CEO, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa at IHG, during the signing ceremony at Expo Real in Munich. “We are now excited to bring Avid hotels to Germany where our proactive development approach has delivered exceptional growth in recent years.”

“We are delighted to be the first to market in Europe with this new brand from IHG, which has the potential to be a strong mainstream growth vehicle," said Andreas Erben of GS Star. “Attractive development costs matched with an efficient operating model will support quick growth of the concept in major Germany cities.”

Avid hotels launched last year, and has reportedly received strong owner interest in the U.S., Canada and Mexico with 130 signings. The first Avid hotels property opened in August this year in Oklahoma City.

Karin Sheppard, managing director, Europe, at IHG, said that 2018 has been an exciting year for IHG. “We completed the acquisitions of Regent Hotels & Resorts and the UK Principal hotel chain. These deals further strengthened our luxury footprint and means IHG is now the largest luxury operator in the UK.” 

This year also saw the launch of IHG’s upscale Voco brand, which Sheppard said is attracting “significant interest” from owners following a number of in-market roadshows. “Today’s announcement of Avid hotels coming to Germany further underlines our robust owner proposition across the range of mainstream, upscale and luxury opportunities in Europe. By the time of IHIF next year, our first Voco and Kimpton will be open in the UK and we are hopeful to have further positive updates on the growth of Avid hotels in Germany.”