The United Kingdom-based hotel firm InterContinental Hotels Group plc, or IHG, has ambitious expansion plans for its Mexican market, one that will give it more than 30,000 hotel rooms by 2021.
The multinational hospitality company’s two-year plan calls for at least 30 new hotels with close to 4,000 rooms, said Elie Maalouf, CEO of IHG’s Americas region.
IHG operated 12 hotel brands in Mexico up to last year, all focused on the various hospitality sectors and all showing steady growth. The expansion plan will be largely represented by IHG’s mainstay brands such as Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, which together represent 64% of the firm’s footprint in Mexico.
But it will also open hotels under other brands, including Crowne Plaza, Staybridge, Indigo, the boutique chain Kimpton and its newest, midscale brand, avid.
The first avid hotel will be located in Zacatecas, Maalouf said, and is slated to open in August. The company sees “great potential” in the new brand.
When it was launched worldwide last fall, Maalouf described the target market as “principled everyday travelers. They’re self-reliant and practical, they know the value of the hard-earned dollar and even when they have a little extra money they take pride in being frugal and not spending it on things they don’t need or want.”
Maalouf said the firm has a very optimistic outlook regarding tourism in Mexico, and the country is among its top-five priority countries worldwide. The outlook is based on the continued growth of the industry, the economy, the population, the middle class, foreign visitor numbers and a free market.
IHG currently has over 80 franchise partners in Mexico, a number the firm expects will continue to grow.
“We’ve had an incomparable experience over the last 40 years [in Mexico],” said Maalouf, “and we hope the relationship to be similar in the future.”