InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is planning to add a new lifestyle and luxury brand to its portfolio, with more details to be released in the coming weeks.
The brand will tap into growing demand in the luxury and lifestyle space, according to IHG, with independent hotels keen to sign up after struggling through the pandemic.
The hospitality company, which says it is already strong in luxury and lifestyle with five brands and almost 450 properties, will grow the new brand organically rather than through acquisition.
Keith Barr, chief executive of IHG, stated: "Trading improved significantly during the first half of 2021, with travel demand returning strongly as vaccines roll out, restrictions ease and economic activity rebuilds. Essential business travel was a key element of our resilience throughout the pandemic, and we are now seeing more group activity and corporate bookings start to come back.”
Reporting second quarter results for the three-month period ending 30 June, 2021, the hotel group revealed occupancy of 53% while the occupancy in June stood at 69% in its US properties, 54% in China and 40% in the EMEA region.
Operating profit for the group, whose brands include Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, came in at US$138 million for the half year, up from 2020’s loss of $233 million.
Group revenue was reported as US$1.18 billion, down from US$1.25 billion for the first half of 2020.
IHG says it has signed 203 hotels in the first half of 2021 and currently has a pipeline of 1,805 hotels.
Lifestyle brand additions to the IHG stable in recent years include voco — including the first in Southeast Asia when voco Orchard Singapore opens January 2022— and Hotel Indigo.
While the recovery is dominated by domestic leisure travel, the company says groups, meetings and events are beginning to book again but a question remains over the degree of discretionary business travel booking in the third and fourth quarters as well as into 2022.