The 2018 Winter Olympics as well as the country’s strong leisure and MICE tourism potential is keeping South Korea high on the expansion radar of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which recently appointed a dedicated developer to oversee the market growth.
Hired as IHG’s in-market development representative, Steven Choi will be working closely with the group’s newly appointed vice president of development in South-east Asia and Korea, Serena Lim, to identify strategic growth opportunities and strengthen relationships with local developers.
Steven Choi (left) and Leanne Harwood
Leanne Harwood, IHG’s vice president operations, South-east Asia and Korea, said: ‘On a regional level, we have our eyes firmly set on (South) Korea. With a robust domestic market and a steady flow of foreign leisure and business visitors, our brands cater to guests from winter sports fans in the mountain resort town of Alpensia Pyeongchang, to corporate travellers in some of the major cities.
“(South) Korea also represents a substantial outbound market for us, where Korean business and leisure travellers make a sizeable contribution to our network across South-east Asia.”
The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are expected to attract 20 million tourists and see members of the International Olympic Committee stay at IHG hotels, added Harwood.
IHG currently operates nine hotels across three brands in South Korea – InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, with a further hotel in the pipeline.