IHG 2010 Year in Review

From IHG’s viewpoint: “2010 was an excellent year for IHG.” – Andrew Cosslett, CEO InterContinental Hotels Group.

InterContinental Hotels Group released its 2010 Q-4 and year-end financial report (IHG 2010-year end pdf). Loyalty traveler has filtered pertinent information for frequent guests.

Priority Club Membership

Priority Club had record enrollment for 2010, growing to 56 million members from 48 million in 2009.

IHG Global Trends for 2010

  • 4,437 IHG branded hotels open as of Dec. 31, 2010 globally.
  • 247 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels removed from system in 2010.
  • 2,956 Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express hotels are open with new signage and updated brand standards as of Dec 31, 2010. This represents 89% of the properties. [LT note: Not sure why there is a discrepancy in numbers from 3,002 hotels listed at beginning of IHG report. Update 2-17: Please see comment for this post regarding discrepancy being due to Jan 31, 2011 updated information.]
  • 1,275 hotels in IHG pipeline with signed contracts.
  • The biggest development boost by brand is in the Hotel Indigo brand currently at 38 hotels for 2010, but with 62 hotels in the pipeline including 12 for Asia and Europe.
  • 50% of new rooms in pipeline are outside Americas region.


Holiday Inn Brand

IHG added 259 hotels in 2010 and dropped 260 hotels for a net gain of minus one hotel. The hotels dropped are primarily Holiday Inn hotels that did not participate in property improvement plans to meet the new Holiday Inn brand standards. The $1 billion improvement project to relaunch Holiday Inn as a modern brand is nearly completed. The company states 3,002 hotels are now operating under new Holiday Inn standards (91% of properties). Forecast for 2011 is little net gain for Holiday Inn properties as hotels continue to exit system as part of improved brand standards relaunch.

Crowne Plaza Makeover

Crowne Plaza brand improvement is the next phase of the IHG makeover. IHG states Crowne Plaza (388 hotels) is the fourth largest upscale brand in the world. By my analysis, IHG either passed up Sheraton (395) in number of hotels or they did not count Radisson Hotels (425) as an upscale brand according to my hotel brand global properties research calculations last week.

[Feb 17 update for clarification (please see IHG and LT comments for this post): Crowne Plaza is the 4th largest upscale brand globally based on the hotel industry standard of measurement – “number of hotel rooms”.

Loyalty Traveler prefers to rank hotel brand size by number of hotels rather than rooms since the traveler generally only cares about booking one room at a time and more about the number of hotels for geographic coverage around the globe. This leads to a different hotel brand ranking order than is normally used when measuring hotel brand size by the hotel industry.]

  1. Marriott = 550 hotels worldwide
  2. Hilton = 540 hotels
  3. Radisson = 425 hotels
  4. Sheraton = 395 hotels
  5. Crowne Plaza = 388 hotels

IHG Worldwide properties 12-31-2010

2010 Property Highlights Americas

  • InterContinental Times Square opened in New York
  • Staybridge Suites opened in New York as first property of this brand (LT note: and fixed price of 20,000 points per night makes this a Priority Club value property for NY visitors.)
  • Holiday Inn Beachcomber Resort, Waikiki, Honolulu marks reappearance of IHG in Hawaii.
  • InterContinental Alliance with Las Vegas Sands Corp. will bring Venetian and Palazzo Resorts into IHG system.
  • 215 hotels removed from IHG brands, primarily Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express
  • 407 Holiday Inn Express hotels in pipeline [LT note: HIX will likely surge ahead of Super 8 and Comfort Inn to be the clear #2 largest hotel brand globally behind Best Western.]


2010 Property Highlights Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)

58 hotels in EMEA signed in 2010 including:

  • 8 Hotel Indigo properties in locations like Berlin, Lisbon and Madrid.
  • 6 Crowne Plaza properties in locations like Amsterdam, Istanbul and St. Petersburg.
  • Germany = 9 hotels signed.
  • France = 6 hotels signed.
  • Hotel Indigo, Tower Hill London opened.
  • Staybridge Suites St. Petersburg opened.
  • Holiday Inn Berlin International Airport opened.


2010 Property Highlights Asia Pacific

  • 24 hotels in 17 cities of China opened.
  • 145 IHG hotels are open in China.
  • 147 IHG hotels currently in pipeline for China.
  • Hotel Indigo Shanghai on the Bund
  • InterContinental Shanghai Expo
  • Crowne Plaza Lumpini Park Bangkok, Thailand opened December 2010.
  • Two Holiday Inn Resorts signed in Vietnam in beach locations – Cam Ranh Bay and Phu Quoc
  • 6 hotels signed in India.
  • 65% of rooms opened in 2010 were in upscale brands InterContinental, Crowne plaza and Hotel Indigo.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »


  1. Hi, just to advise that the “discrepancy” with Holiday Inn figures is down to us reporting both up to 31/12/10 (the reporting period) and 30/1/2011 (giving investors the most up-to-date figure). Re Crowne Plaza, we measure rooms as the most appropriate metric as that’s what drives our fees. Giles Deards, IHG Corporate Communications.

  2. Thank you for the IHG information clarification Giles.

    Loyalty traveler is excited to have a comment from an official of a hotel company. This is a rare privilege and I truly appreciate IHG input to clarify for my readers why Crowne Plaza is the 5th largest brand by number of hotels and fourth largest upscale hotel brand by number of rooms, which is the standard of measurement for the hotel industry.

    Last week I mentioned the hotel industry uses rooms as the hotel brand size standard of measure in this post on the world’s 20 largest brands where I ranked brands by number of hotels. http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2011/02/11/world%e2%80%99s-top-20-hotel-brands/

    The Holiday Inn discrepancy is what I had assumed regarding more recently updated information than Dec 31.

    Hotel brands and loyalty from the guest member viewpoint:

    Most hotel loyalty program members do not understand the relationship between the hotel brand and the hotel loyalty program. Hotel members in a brand are assessed a fee to finance the loyalty program and marketing services of the parent chain like IHG, Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Choice and so on.

    IHG is asset light and focuses on a franchise and management model. Marriott, Starwood, IHG and most major hotel brand companies own very few hotels in the loyalty program portfolio. These companies make money from fees assessed for the loyalty program, brand licensing, and management fees.

    I do not have much knowledge or insight to that side of the industry. My focus is on the hotel guest and traveler and all the legal arrangements, financing and jargon is something I have enough knowledge on to sound like an idiot to the real hotel industry people.

    InterContinental Hotels Group recently placed the InterContinental New York Barclay for sale with an asking price in the $300 million range. IHG still plans to manage the hotel and maintain its InterContinental branding. From the Priority Club member’s viewpoint the sale of the IC Barclay hotel will likely be imperceptible as a hotel guest during the transition of ownership. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-02-15/intercontinental-forecasts-modest-room-growth-after-net-rises.html

    Priority Club members earn points from hotel stays and the points are paid for with fees assessed to the hotel members of Priority Club. Therefore, from the viewpoint of a hotel franchise and management company the size of a hotel brand is measured by the number of rooms.

    Measuring Size by Rooms vs. Hotel Count

    I am not a hotel industry guy and my rationale for looking at hotel brand size by number of hotels is the geographic reach the traveler finds with a specific hotel brand and loyalty program.

    Hyatt Hotels, for example, is a large hotel chain by number of rooms, but much smaller by number of hotels. Hyatt Regency (average about 500 rooms) and Grand Hyatt hotels (average about 700 rooms) tend to have a large number of rooms for their U.S. hotels. Crowne Plaza hotels in U.S. average around 300 rooms per hotel. From the industry side, Hyatt is viewed as a larger hotel brand in the U.S. while the Hyatt Gold Passport member view tends to be there are not too many Hyatt hotels around the country and Crowne Plaza has a greater geographic reach.

    Hyatt Regency has slightly more rooms in U.S. (49,172 rooms) with 90 hotels than Crowne Plaza (47,972 rooms) has with 166 hotels. Source: 2011 U.S. Hotel Brands Survey – http://images.questex.com/HMM/2011/Surveys/hm0211_BrandsSurvey.pdf

    To reiterate why Loyalty Traveler counts hotels rather than rooms for brand size ranking:
    As a traveler I only need one room for most hotel stays.

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