Hotel brands must offer ‘3D’ experience to win guests, says report

Hotels must deliver a ‘3D’ – global, local and personalised – experience to win guest loyalty in the future, according to a report by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

The new report – ‘Creating Moments of Trust – the key to building successful brand relationships in the Kinship Economy’, says that personalised brand experiences reflecting local culture are particularly important for international travellers from emerging markets.

The report says that travellers believe global hotel brands offer better services than local hotel brands in several aspects, including safety consistency and innovation. They now expect global brands to be relevant in terms of local tastes, customs and cultures.

Commenting on the report, Richard Solomons, IHG chief executive, said: ‘This report marks a step-change in the thinking that has dominated the travel and hospitality industry over the last two decades. Hotel brands have traditionally concentrated on being 2D – how to be both global and local. But our research shows that the rise of personalisation means brands must be 3D in order to build both trust and lasting relationships with guests and to win in a highly competitive global market.’

Based on the research, IHG has identified six ‘trust-building’ actions that will help its hotel brands around the world to deliver the 3D experience that guests increasingly expect. These actions include consistency, authentic local customisation, tailored consumption, support technology enhanced service, personal relevance and using service to surprise and delight.

IHG says that it is already addressing the growing consumer demand for 3D brands. The development of the two newest hotel brands, HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts, the first international hotel brand designed specifically for Chinese travellers; and EVEN Hotels, the first mainstream holistic wellness hotel brand, are examples, it added.

The report, which surveyed over 7,000 international travellers, found that over the last 12 months, emerging market travellers have been travelling more frequently than their developed market counterparts.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts named world’s leading hotel brand

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, part of the UK’s InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has been recognised as the World’s Leading Hotel Brand 2013, for the seventh time and fifth consecutive year, at the 2013 World Travel Awards in Doha, Qatar.

Simon Scoot, vice president, Global Brands, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, remarked, ‘We are honoured to be the recipients of such prestigious awards that recognise the dedication of all our colleagues working in 174 properties around the world, and demonstrate their pride in IHG’s iconic international luxury brand.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is dedicated to providing genuine insider experiences that inspire our guests to feel more like a local rather than a tourist when they stay with us.’

The InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort in Koh Samui, Thailand was also recognised as the World’s Leading Luxury Resort for 2013.

In addition, the brand was voted Europe’s Leading Hotel Brand 2013, and Asia’s Leading Business Hotel Brand, among 41 other awards that also recognised individual InterContinental Hotels & Resorts properties around the globe this year.

Hailed as ‘The Oscars of the Travel Industry’ by the Wall Street Journal, the World Travel Awards is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Widely acknowledged as the ultimate global travel accolade, the awards are based on votes by the public and travel professionals worldwide, and seek to recognise and reward brands that strive for industry excellence.

With over 4,600 hotels in nearly 100 countries, the IHG family of brands claims to have more guest rooms than any other hotel company in the world. The company claims that its scale and diversity mean that its hotels are equipped to meet its guests’ needs for any occasion.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is IHG’s luxury hotel brand, with over 65 years’ experience internationally. The brand is present in more than 60 countries, including most of the world’s key cities and many resort locations.

IHG’s third InterContinental London hotel to open in 2015

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced its plans for a third InterContinental property for London, named InterContinental London The O2, and set to open in 2015.

The InterContinental brand’s 53rd hotel, InterContinental London The O2 will be the third IHG InterContinental property in London after the InterContinental London Westminster, which opened less than a year ago, and InterContinental London Park Lane, an established luxury destination in the capital.

The hotel will house several restaurants, a club lounge, a health spa, main bar and a sky bar with direct views of Canary Wharf and the River Thames. IHG claims that the new hotel will be an ideal location for meetings, events and conferences, with its 3,000 square meter open-plan hotel ballroom, the largest pillar-free ballroom in Europe.

Robert Shepherd, chief development officer (Europe) for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), said: ‘This has been a great twelve months for the InterContinental brand in London, with one fabulous new hotel opening and another now signed into our pipeline. This location is at the heart of one of London’s most exciting development opportunities. InterContinental London The O2 will both benefit from – and be a catalyst for – growth and prosperity in this area. I’m looking forward to 2015 when InterContinental London The O2 will take its place alongside its sister properties as beacons of luxury in the Capital.’

Surinder Arora, founder and chief executive of Arora, said: ‘I am delighted to be involved in such a high profile scheme in a fantastic location next to The O2 offering a unique marketing and events opportunity. Working alongside excellent partners, this development will add high quality accommodation and conference inventory to a vibrant part of London which has recently been exposed to the world stage with the summer 2012 London Olympics.’

Located on the Greenwich Peninsula, the new hotel is next to The O2 Arena, which hosts nearly 200 events annually, attracting nearly 7.5 million visitors. The hotel will be six miles from London City Airport, 400 metres from North Greenwich tube station and is well connected to the Blackwall Tunnel and the Emirates Airline Cable Car, which links the Greenwich Peninsula to the ExCel Exhibition Centre.

The new 452-room hotel will operate under a franchise agreement with Meridian Hotel Operations Limited and will be managed by Arora Hotels.

IHG Announces Plans to Sell Intercontinental London Park Lane

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), the UK based hotel company and owner of brands that include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites, is contemplating the sale of its Intercontinental London Park Lane property in the UK.

The company, which has recently released its interim results, will be looking for a buyer for its Park Lane property, which is one of two properties currently owned by the company in Europe. The hotel company is currently operating around 620 other hotels in Europe under lease or franchising agreements.

The company chief executive officer, Richard Solomon, said, ‘Intercontinental London Park Lane is likely to be the next major asset disposal, with a key milestone in the decision making process being the expected opening of Intercontinental London Westminster by early 2013.’

‘The disposal of InterContinental New York Barclay continues to progress’, said Solomon.

The Intercontinental London Park Lane hotel is currently offering 447 rooms and 60 suites, two restaurants and three bars and lounges, a health & fitness centre, hotel retail spaces and business services.

Earlier IHG had reported that its brand images for Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express have increased with business travellers, thanks to its role as the official hospitality partner for the 2012 Olympics.

The company’s interim results show that revenue in Europe has increased by 11.4 percent to £131.6m, in the first six months of 2012, compared to the same period in 2011, while operating profit has increased by £0.6m to £33m in the same period in 2012, compared to 2011.

Hospitality Industry Welcomes New Standards of Carbon Measurement

The hospitality industry now has a standardised approach to measuring carbon footprints.

The new procedure has been put together by the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with UK-based, InterContinental Hotels Group.

The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) Working Group, which has been launched recently, and which includes hotel members within the ITP and WTTC, is offering a global standardised approach for the hospitality industry and its customers.

David Jerome, the senior vice president of corporate responsibility for InterContinental Hotels Group, said, ‘As an industry, we’ve standardised our practices around how hotels calculate carbon emissions, making it easier for our guests and corporate clients to understand the environmental impact of their hotel stays.’

The procedure, developed in 2011, has been tested in different hotels of various sizes, and in diverse geographical locations, to refine the process.

InterContinental Hotels will be using the new methodology to construct a carbon calculator into Green Engage, an online sustainability tool that is designed to enable the group’s hotels to measure, administer and lessen their environmental impacts.

The calculator will allow around 2,000 hotels using Green Engage to offer their customers information on the carbon footprint per occupied room, and the carbon footprint of meetings and events.

Earlier, the chief executive officer of InterContinental Hotels, Richard Solomons, said in a statement on the company website, ‘As the world’s largest hotel group1 we understand that the role of hotels in society goes beyond selling hotel rooms. We must act responsibly and build trust in our brands.

Building trust and being a responsible business are fundamental. Our size and scale give us a big responsibility. The great news is that doing the right thing strengthens our reputation and reinforces trust in our brands. It shows, for instance, that we’re listening to our stakeholders. A growing number of our guests want to make sustainable choices and lots of our corporate clients want proof of our green credentials.’