InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) sees Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a huge growth opportunity, and plans to have 100 hotels open by 2020.
The hotels are estimated to create more than 8 000 new jobs for local people in addition to the 2 500 already working at hotels from the IHG family of brands across Russia and the CIS. IHG currently has 16 hotels across Russia and the CIS including 11 hotels in Russia.
The company said it would continue to grow in Moscow and St. Petersburg and work with local investors to introduce managed and franchised hotels across the country, where there is a need for internationally-branded hotels.
Angela Brav, chief executive officer for IHG in Europe, says: “We see a huge opportunity to grow our hotel brands, such as Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, in Russia. We want to help bring people from around Russia and the rest of the world to experience the country’s rich cultural heritage and natural wonders, from Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow to the stunning Lake Baikal in Siberia.”
Brav continues: “In Moscow alone, there are just over 9,000 international standard rooms, which is equivalent to around ten per cent of the hotel rooms in London so there is still a terrific opportunity for international hotel operators with a presence here. We’re working with Crocus Group to build Europe’s biggest Holiday Inn here in Moscow, with 1,000 rooms, due to open in 2014.”
IHG also announced it was opening the Moscow branch of the IHG Academy in February 2012 to deliver international standard hospitality training in Russia. There will be 15-20 places on the three-year course, which will see students spending four days a week in hotels from the IHG family of brands, and one day a week at the Moscow State University of Tourism.