InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG) is aiming to open more properties in Taiwan as part of a plan to augment its presence in Asia, attracted by the region’s fast-growing economies and wealth.
The British hospitality company, which operates 5,603 hotels under 15 brands around the world, is to open Hotel Indigo Taipei in Dazhi (大直) area later this year and has inked a pact to bring the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand to Taichung next year or in 2021.
“While the US remains our largest market, the Greater China area has seen the fastest growth by number of outlets in recent years,” IHG senior marketing director Ada Gao (高原) told a media gathering in Tainan on Friday last week.
The trend falls in line with the group’s aim to take advantage of the region’s rising wealth and demand for international hotel brands, Gao said.
The strategy led last year to the purchase of a majority stake in Regent Hotels & Resorts from Taipei-based Formosa International Hotels Corp (晶華麗晶酒店集團) whereby IHG would run all Regent properties except the Regent Taipei.
IHG also manages the Kimpton Daan Hotel, Hotel Indigo Hsinchu, Hotel Indigo Kaohsiung, Crown Plaza Tainan, Holiday Inn Express Taoyuan and Holiday Inn Express Taichung, Gao said.
The portfolio allows the group to cater to both leisure and business travelers of different budgets and with different preferences, she said.
Hotel Indigo Taipei, which is to be on the fourth to 10th floors of a mixed-use building that is also to feature stores and a food court on the lower floors, could begin operations in the fourth quarter of this year following five years of construction and preparation work, she added.
Meanwhile, Hotel Indigo Hsinchu general manager Kenneth Ting (丁永興) said his hotel has since its opening in September last year been wooing technology-savvy travelers with its 140 spacious guest rooms and the exotic menus at its restaurant, lounge and cafe.
The hotel near the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區) is to invite award-winning chef Nikolas Ramirez to cook at its Char Bar & Bistro next month to help claim the mantle of the best restaurant in Hsinchu, Ting said.
Additionally, IHG has signed an agreement with Taipei-based developer CMP Group (勤美集團) to launch its first InterContinental Hotels & Resorts property in Taichung next year or in 2021, Gao said.
“The stable increase in the number of tourists lends support to the group’s expansion in Taiwan,” she said.
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