UK’s IHG to open 15 Holiday Inn Express Hotels in Australia

UK’s InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has said that international investment company, Pro Invest Group, has established a $150 million fund to develop a portfolio of 15 Holiday Inn Express hotels across Australia.

Pro Invest will set up a hotel operating company to initially build and operate 15 Holiday Inn Express hotels. The hotel chain will have a total of nearly 2,150 rooms, spread across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. IHG will enter into franchise agreements for each of the hotels, and the first hotel will open at Macquarie Park in North Ryde, Sydney in the autumn of 2014.

The company claims that the hotels will be clean and simple, and provide a clear choice for business and leisure travellers that require a high quality hotel with free breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Holiday Inn Express North Ryde will have 190 rooms to meet the growing demand from the local business community for quality accommodation at a competitive price.

Ronald Barrott, principal of Pro Invest said, ‘This fund is comprised of a group of offshore investors, all who see the potential of investing in both the Holiday Inn Express brand, and Australia. We believe now is the time to grow this brand in the market and travellers will certainly benefit from having one of the world’s biggest hotel brands to choose from.

‘My previous experience in the UK tells me this partnership with IHG will be a long and successful one, and that there is plenty of opportunity to grow this initial portfolio of 15 Holiday Inn Express hotels to become many more in the years to come.’

Barrott had previously led Stannifer Hotels to become one of the UK’s largest and most successful select service hotel groups.

IHG Asia, Middle East and Africa CEO, Jan Smits commented, ‘The announcement of this investment fund comes at a great time for IHG in Australia. Our current hotel brands here, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, are already well known and regarded by our hotel owners, and Holiday Inn Express is a welcome addition. We announced our first signing under this brand earlier this year and that hotel will open in Perth, Western Australia in 2015. Pro Invest’s portfolio will launch with the opening of Holiday Inn Express North Ryde in autumn 2014.

‘We have established a strong hotel franchising model to provide owners and investors in Australia, such as Pro Invest, with a reliable and profitable alternative to our equally-successful management model. This is an exciting example of the growth and development of IHG in this market, and a strong sign of confidence in IHG’s offering,’ he added.

There are currently 30 hotels open and operating under IHG’s InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands in Australia. Launched in 1991, the Holiday Inn Express brand has now grown to over 2,200 hotels worldwide, the biggest brand within the IHG portfolio. A further 450 hotels are due to open in the next three to five years.