InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed up a further 15 hotels, involving 2,227 rooms, to its European pipeline since July. Four are in the UK.
The new hotels, which will operate under franchise agreements, will open in the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Spain, Germany, Turkey and Russia. They will include hotels operating under six brands: Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites.
Robert Shepherd, who was appointed senior vice president for development and design in Europe in October, said that despite a debt crisis across Europe, IHG's new signings are testimony to the strength of the group's brands.
"We know banks prefer to finance deals with established brands that deliver on owners' expectations," he said. "We encourage independent hotels struggling in tough times to come and talk to us."
New hotels in the UK now in the pipeline include two properties under the Holiday Inn Express brand - the 70-room Holiday Inn Express Crewe, with W Hotel Trading, and the 74-bedroom Holiday Inn Express Wakefield, operated by Cairn Hotels, will both open in spring 2012.
The Holiday Inn Southend, owned by the London Southend Airport Company, is set to be a 129-room hotel with links via a high speed train connection to London Stratford.
IHG's newest brand, the boutique Hotel Indigo, will arrive in Manchester in spring 2012 with the opening of Hotel Indigo Manchester - Victoria Station. The 172-room property will be developed by Sanguine Hospitality, owner of Hotel Indigo Liverpool, as part of the regeneration of the area. There are currently four Hotel Indigo properties in the UK, with a further five in the pipeline.
Nick Taplin, managing director of Sanguine Hospitality, said: "We are confident that the arrival of Hotel Indigo will deliver a watershed for Manchester's hospitality sector. The iconic building, coupled with the boutique qualities of the Hotel Indigo brand, will give the venue standout appeal for visitors to the city. The hotel will be accompanied by a Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, which itself promises to bring something fresh to Manchester's culinary scene."
Hotel Indigo hotels are ideally suited to conversion properties which require less financing than new builds and can be up and running in a shorter period of time.
By Janet Harmer
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