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IHG Hotels & Resorts plans to bring at least four upscale luxury hospitality brands to India soon, adding to its hotel portfolio, comprising InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.

The group is looking to introduce its luxury brands Regent, Kimpton, Vignette Collections and Voco to the Indian market, said Sudeep Jain, managing director, South West Asia, IHG Hotels & Resorts.

“Regent in Hong Kong is a stunning property. We are keen to bring the Regent luxury hotel brand as well as Kimpton, the lifestyle-oriented luxury product here," Jain said.

The company has already signed deals for two of its other global brands. Hotel Indigo, which exists in the same segment as Crowne Plaza, has signed up a property in Mumbai.

“We have also signed up for Staybridge Suites in Bengaluru. Staybridge Suites is our extended stay product," Jain said.

Earlier this month, IHG Hotels & Resorts launched the Six Senses spa in Ranthambore (Rajasthan), which is its ultra-luxury, boutique offering for the country.

The company will add nearly 39 hotels to its existing 40 hotels in India over the next three to four years, Jain said. Another 15 hotels will come up in other parts of South West Asia.

For IHG Hotels & Resorts, the bulk of the growth in India will come from Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands.

“In terms of sheer volume, the growth will come from those two brands," Jain said.

“In the Indian context, Holiday Inn is the focus and growth area as it is the right product built at the right cost and flexible enough to cater to every market with great returns," Jain said.

“This is one brand I can put in the centre of Delhi and in a tier-4 city. It’s a four-star brand," he said.

Holiday Inn Express, meanwhile, is a value-driven product that competes with brands such as Lemon Tree and Ibis and re-entered the country three years ago.

For IHG Hotels & Resorts hotel brands across the portfolio, the recovery in recent months has been promising.

As the second covid-19 wave recedes, mobility improves and business travel shows signs of coming back gradually, the occupancy for IHG Hotels & Resorts is closer to what it was in the pre-pandemic days.

“While occupancy stands at about 95% of what it was pre-pandemic, the average daily rates or ADRs as a portfolio are 30-40% lower than what they were in 2019," Jain said. ADRs (average daily rates) typically indicate the hotel’s overall performance and profits.

Hospitality consultancy Hotelivate has estimated that the existing rooms supply in India grew by 3.3% over the previous fiscal year of 2020-21, increasing the total number of branded rooms in the country to 1,44,047.

This number, it said, takes into account about 4,093 new rooms that opened during the year.

The proposed supply for the past two fiscal years was about 60,273 rooms, but the overall active development was down to 61%, compared to 74% in 2018-19, it said.

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