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‘Mid-market demand is large, growing’

InterContinental remains bullish on India and believes in investing during bad times, said Jan Smits, IHG’s Asia & Australia regional managing director in an interview. Excerpts.

business Updated: Aug 19, 2009 21:54 IST
Lalatendu Mishra

InterContinental remains bullish on India and believes in investing during bad times, said Jan Smits, IHG’s Asia & Australia regional managing director in an interview.

Excerpts

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Plans for India
India is an important market for us. We have a confirmed development pipeline of 31 hotels in India. Our ambition is to build a profitable portfolio of ‘Great Hotels Guest Love” across major metros and secondary cities where there are sufficient demand.

Why so aggressive now?
India travel growth indicators show long-term expansion. It, therefore, presents a huge potential. In India, the future of tourism is bright and is on an upward curve. The demand in mid-market segment is large and is growing rapidly. We believe there will be corresponding demand for good quality hotels to cater to increase in domestic and business travellers.

Why are you launching Holiday Inn now?
In tough economic times smart brands invest. Our $1-billion (around Rs 4,900 crore) relaunch programme will position the brand well for the future. We have relaunched 1,000 Holiday Inn hotels out of over 3,200 hotels.

How much India gets from $1 billion budget?
We do not breakdown the cost by countries and regions. Holiday Inn brand will drive real growth opportunity and extend this leadership with 23 new-look Holiday Inns in India over the next few years.