IHG, one of the world's largest hotel groups by room numbers, is banking on vibrant growth in China in the years ahead as it plans to expand its brand portfolio and consolidate its strength in the mid-scale market to meet robust demand from travelers.
"Last year saw a record number of signings in China where 82 hotels, or 19,000 rooms, have been added to our pipeline," said Kenneth Macpherson, chief executive officer of IHG China.
"The average RevPAR (revenue per available room) climbed 2.2 percent year on year at our hotels in China, with even stronger growth of 3.9 percent for hotels in the Chinese mainland and 6.3 percent for those in first-tier cities."
IHG is also seeking to expand its brand portfolio further to tap niche markets.
"We acquired the Kimpton brand in America, which is the leading luxury lifestyle boutique hotel brand," Macpherson said. "We will be actively working with partners to bring this fantastic brand into key locations in China."
But he didn't disclose further details.
IHG will launch Your Rate by IHG Rewards Club in China today for its more than 7 million loyalty program members in the country.
Members will get access to benefits including the ability to earn points for complimentary Rewards Nights and gifts, and in-hotel benefits such as priority check-in and extended check-out when they book directly with IHG.
The program has been a success in other markets including Europe and the United States.
One of the earliest international hotel groups to enter China, IHG operates 292 hotels spread over six brands in 100 Chinese cities at the end of last year.
The addition of 82 hotels last year will lift its presence in the country to over 130 cities.