InterContinental boosts China presence

InterContinental Hotels today furthered its expansion in China by signing an agreement to manage six hotels in the second most-populated province.

The group, which owns the Holiday Inn chain, will oversee 4,500 rooms in Sichuan, south-west China, a region with more than 90 million residents and a growing tourism trade.

The move supports the group’s target of 125 hotels in the country by 2008. It currently has 50, adding as many 60,000 rooms to its total portfolio of 539,000.

InterContinental has had a presence in China since 1984 and is one of the largest hotel operators there.

The six hotels are owned by Chengdu International Exhibition & Convention Group, a company with an array of interests including travel agencies and real estate.

It entered into the contract to increase the attraction of its hotels by adopting well-known brands, an InterContinental spokesman said.

Three of the hotels will become Holiday Inn – the group’s mid-market operation - two will be upper market InterContinentals and one will be a Holiday Inn Express, which targets the convenience sector.

The buildings are located across Chengdu City, the business hub of Sichuan, and Jiuzhaigou, a mountainous tourist resort.

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