Intercontinental hotel chain has cut back its debt and believes it can ride out any downturn. In China it runs one of more than 100 hotels and there are another 100 in the pipeline.
Last month it signed another agreement for the new Indigo boutique brand in Shanghai. The opening means that China is now the second-most important country for Intercontinental.
Intercontinental isn’t saddled with debt of any significance, having sold off the majority of its hotels around the globe. It retains ownership of just 16 hotels — gateway or flagship outlets such as the Intercontinental in Hong Kong — with the rest being either franchised or managed operations.
All the group’s hotels on the mainland are managed.
Andy Coslett, the head of Intercontinental puts his faith in loyalty scheme members. He said, ‘These people are more important to us than ever before. Knowing what they want is the key. The benefits they get could be in the form of an upgrade, discounts or simpler things such easier check-in processes. It’s about giving the customers what they want.’
Source: The Independent London
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