At the Arabian Travel Market underway in Dubai, IHG inked a global partnership agreement with Bahrain-based travel and tourism company Seera Group.
The direct-connectivity distribution agreement will provide Seera Group (formerly Al Tayyar Travel Group) with access to IHG’s current global portfolio of 15 brands and more than 5,600 hotels in more than 100 countries for the leisure travel category. Seera Group also will have access to automated real-time pricing and inventory across IHG’s portfolio.
At the same time, the agreement will provide IHG with access to Seera Group’s regional network of retail branches and call centers, as well as the group’s consumer travel brand, Al-mosafer, and its UAE-focused OTA, Tajawal, helping strengthen IHG’s visibility and sales capabilities in the region.
IHG's Pascal Gauvin, managing director/IMEA, said the company has “ambitious growth aspirations” for the region, and the agreement will help the company connect with a wider audience of leisure travelers. “Leisure travel is a growing category among the region’s domestic and outbound travelers, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with a number of projects initiated under the KSA National Vision 2030,” he said.
“With a new partnership, IHG will gain exposure to our offline and online travelers in the region, as we have the largest travel platform in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East; with 180 million online sessions expected for 2019,” said Abdullah Al Dawood, CEO/Seera Group.
The deal comes a few weeks after IHG signed franchise agreements to open new Holiday Inns in Saudi Arabia. The Holiday Inn Madinah King Abdulaziz Road will open as part of a deal with Loulouat Al Madinah Hospitality while the Holiday Inn Jeddah Al Hamra is part of a deal with Al Hokair Group.
IHG currently operates 91 hotels across six brands in the Middle East, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Voco, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites, with a further 37 in the development pipeline due to open within the next three to five years.