Last updated: 03:30 PM ET, Tue May 10 2016

IHG Launches New Franchise Model for Holiday Inn Express in China

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | May 10, 2016

IHG Launches New Franchise Model for Holiday Inn Express in China

PHOTO: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Halifax-Bedford. (Photo courtesy of IHG).

The InterContinental Hotels Group announced a brand new franchise model for its Holiday Inn Express brand in China Tuesday.

Known as Franchise Plus, IHG said the new model was designed specifically with the Chinese market in mind. In addition to providing owners with the traditional benefits of operating a franchise model, it will provide them with key features from IHG's managed model. 

Tuesday's announcement coincides with the signing of IHG's first Franchise Plus agreement with Shanghai Yaqi Business Hotel Co., Ltd. for a 260-room Holiday Inn Express hotel in Shanghai's Hongqiao area. 

"The launch of Franchise Plus for our Holiday Inn Express brand is an important milestone for our business and for the accommodation landscape in China," said the CEO of IHG in Greater China Kenneth MacPherson in a statement. "With IHG's world-leading expertise in franchising and our more than three decades of operational excellence and knowledge of the Chinese market, we are confident that the new model will be an engine of growth for IHG and our business partners in the coming years."

READ MORE: IHG is Latest to Allow Travel Agents to Book Discounted Rates

IHG said that the new model highlights the impact of China's growing middle class, which has led to an increased demand for more midscale hotels like Holiday Inn Express in all types of cities, big and small.

One of the fastest-growing midscale brands, Holiday Inn Express entered Greater China more than a decade ago and currently boasts 66 properties in the region with dozens more in the pipeline. 

Across all of its brands, IHG currently operates 268 hotels in 100 cities throughout China and has more than 200 in the pipeline.

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