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Monday, March 25, 2013

IHG signs first Holiday Inn Express in Australia

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Inline images 1 IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) will introduce one of the world's fastest growing hotel brands to Australia, with the signing of the Holiday Inn Express hotel in a prime Perth CBD location.

Perth-based developer Sunfire Asset has engaged IHG to manage a new-build 224-room Holiday Inn Express hotel, to be located at 257 Adelaide Terrace, overlooking the Swan River.

The new AU$35 million development will incorporate a 20-floor hotel and a circa 1888 heritage house, with construction expected to commence in mid-2013 and the opening slated for early 2015.

As a Holiday Inn Express hotel, it will offer uncomplicated guest rooms with a smart, modern and consistent layout and a select range of amenities, at a competitive price. Features will include convenient "Grab & Go" breakfast, intimate meeting spaces, self-service facilities including laundry, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

The development addresses the growing demand for additional hotel rooms in Perth, which boasts Australia's highest CBD hotel occupancy rates, sitting at 85.1 per cent in December 2012 and forecasted to rise to 88.2 per cent in the financial year to June 2015. The average price of a Perth hotel room is also expected to increase 30 per cent by December 2015 from AU$199 to AU$259*.

Head of Sunfire, Ralph Nunis said the Holiday Inn Express model offered a great solution for the Perth market and was a great fit for the development.


"There is real investment potential in Perth hotels at the moment, with the mining capital of Australia experiencing soaring room rates and a shortage of guest rooms. The CBD hasn't seen a new hotel build for more than a decade, so we're delighted to be working towards a solution for both business and leisure travellers to the city," Nunis said.

"Once open, the Holiday Inn Express business model also means we will be able to keep operational costs down and room rates at affordable levels, while meeting the highly competitive demands of the market for comfort, convenience and value."

Phil Kasselis, head of development, Australasia for IHG, said a Holiday Inn Express hotel – designed to deliver lower building costs, lower overheads and operational efficiencies – makes for a sound investment in a climate where adequate returns from new hotel construction are difficult to achieve.

"Holiday Inn Express' efficient design and a modular, no frills approach represents a more rapid build proposition than an upscale or luxury hotel, and meets the need for an affordable alternative to full service hotels. It's also a lower cost and higher yield model, which presents a faster road to profitability for owners," Kasselis said.

"We've seen Holiday Inn Express grow exponentially in international markets over the last two decades, pointing to strong demand for such a brand from both guests and investors. We've been looking for the right location and the right partner to launch the brand with here in Australia. We're confident Holiday Inn Express will do very well in Perth, among both leisure and business travellers."

Trent Zimmerman, acting chief executive officer of industry body Tourism & Transport Forum said additional accommodation capacity was essential to allow tourism to grow.

"As one of Australia's gateway cities, it is vital that visitors to Perth can access suitable and affordable accommodation," Zimmerman said.

Holiday Inn Express is one of nine IHG brands, including three brands currently operating in Australia -InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn. First launched in 1991, the Holiday Inn Express brand has grown to more than 2190 hotels worldwide - the biggest brand portfolio within the IHG estate.

Also debuting in India, Bahrain and Thailand this year, Holiday Inn Express continues to expand across AMEA (Asia, Middle East and Africa), with 12 hotels (and 2877 rooms) currently operating and 35 hotels in the pipeline. India will be home to 15 of these hotels, with 12 planned for Indonesia.

For more information on the brand, visit www.holidayinnexpress.com or www.ihg.com.

*Source: Deloitte Access Economics Tourism and Hotel Market Outlook report Q4 2012.
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