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InterContinental Hotels Group Shapes New Organisation for Asia Pacific

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 25 April 2003

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has unveiled the shape of its new organization in Asia Pacific following the company's global demerger and rebranding from Six Continents Hotels, which became effective last week.

The new streamlined organization, which has in its portfolio leading brands including InterContinental Hotels, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, is underpinned by more efficient use of regional and global resources and a structure that the group expects will drive greater innovation, customer focus and revenues by moving key resources closer to customers, partners and key growth markets.

"The new shape of the organization will improve efficiency and streamline  cost to make us even more competitive while at the same time boosting our focus on customer service across our portfolio and in key growth markets," said A. Patrick Imbardelli, Managing Director Asia Pacific, InterContinental Hotels Group. "Through the new initiatives, we have streamlined the decision making process within the company and placed even more focus on value adding activities."

Following the company's investments last year in reshaping and reinvigorating key brands such as Holiday Inn, InterContinental and Crowne Plaza, InterContinental Hotels Group will be implementing new service initiatives and products at its properties across the region.

Sharpened Areas of Focus - Greater Localisation for Hotels

The new organization includes an integrated sales and marketing focus, headed by Lucinda Semark, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, to extend its brand leadership across the region and consistently drive revenue, demand and system delivery across IHG's hotels portfolio.

Demand management and systems delivery has also been refocused to provide service excellence to customers across the group's hotel brands. The group launched a central reservations office in Guangzhou, China, to handle Greater China reservations, and central reservation functions in Asia  Pacific will be made more efficient through transition of increased regional reservations functions from Singapore to Sydney, Australia.

Geographically, key operational functions are being moved closer to growth  markets. The Asia Pacific region, which currently has 144 IHG hotels and close to 40,000 rooms in 22 countries will include four sub-regions to allow for highly focused and relevant service and development plans in each part of Asia Pacific.

"Our business is based on building strong and enduring partnerships with owners, operators, business partners and major customers everywhere we operate in this region. The new organization brings together a sub-regional  operations team with unparalleled levels of expertise and experience which will enable us to build even better ties with our partners and tailor our approach for maximum relevance in growth areas around Asia Pacific," said Mr. Imbardelli. "We have the best hotels team in the industry with extensive management, operational and financial experience."

Northern Asia will now include Korea, Japan and mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and will be led by Edmond Ip, Chief Operating Officer, Northern Asia. Reflecting the growth potential of Greater China and North Asia, several senior members of his team will now be based in Beijing, China.

Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific will form one sub-region headed by Phil Lee, Chief Operating Officer ANZSP. South Asia will be headed by  Regional Vice President Operations, Steven Hicks, and South West Asia will  be led by Chandan Kashikar, Director of Operations. Tony South continues as Senior Vice President of Development and Asset Management, maintaining a focus on continued growth of the group's brands and the company's investment strategy within the region.

Aggressive Business Plans for Growth

"Despite factors that are creating challenging times for the whole industry in this region at present, IHG continues to aggressively pursue its business plan to build the quality of its assets in Asia Pacific and expand the number of choices available to customers in key growth markets. The new  shape of the organization fits with the long term strategic view we take of investment in Asia Pacific and we have been through turbulent times before," Mr. Imbardelli said. "With our focus on quality growth and a solid return on investment over time, we remain absolutely confident that this region represents excellent opportunities for our business."

Over the next three years, IHG intends to build the quality of its  portfolio in all four sub-regions and seize opportunities for growth in high-demand markets including China and North Asia and Australia. Most  recently, it added two new hotels to its portfolio in Bangkok Thailand through a partnership with President Hotel and Tower. The hotels will be rebranded to InterContinental Bangkok and Holiday Inn Bangkok. In early April, IHG launched InterContinental Marine Drive, a boutique-style hotel  that boasts several exciting firsts in Mumbai's hospitality scene.

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