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IHG Targets 100 Hotels in Russia and CIS by 2020

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InterContinental Hotels Group has said it sees Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a huge growth opportunity, and plans to have 100 hotels open by 2020.

Angela Brav, chief executive officer for IHG in Europe, is on a trade mission to Russia with the British Prime Minister to boost trade ties between the two countries.

The hotels would 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.

IHG first entered Russia in 1998 when it opened the Holiday Inn Vinogradovo in Moscow. Thirteen years later, IHG is expanding into regional centres and new fast-growing cities with well-established business communities and tourist attractions such as Samara, Ekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk and others.

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, said, 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 countrys rich cultural heritage and natural wonders, from Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow to the stunning Lake Baikal in Siberia.

Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn are already well established in Moscow and St. Petersburg but there is still huge room for growth according to IHG.

In Moscow alone, there are just over 9,000 international standard rooms, which is equivalent to around 10% of the hotel rooms in London so there is still a terrific opportunity for international hotel operators with a presence here. Were working with Crocus Group to build Europes biggest Holiday Inn here in Moscow, with 1,000 rooms, due to open in 2014, Brav added.

IHG also plans to introduce its newest brand Hotel Indigo into Russia in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

IHG will also open a Moscow branch of the IHG Academy in February 2012. 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.

The course will also include a three month work experience placement where students will work in a hotel outside Russia. Once qualified, students will have the opportunity to apply for jobs at supervisory level.

IHG has 11 hotels (3,397 rooms) in Russia and five hotels (1,123 rooms) in the CIS; eight hotels (2,636 rooms) in the development pipeline in Russia, due to open in the next three to four years, and two hotels (435 rooms) in the pipeline in the CIS.

In November 2011, IHGs luxury InterContinental brand returns to Russia after a decade away with the opening of InterContinental Moscow Tverskaya. The 203-room hotel will open on Russias most famous street creating 260 new jobs for local people.

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