Top News IHG aims to triple Malaysian portfolio by 2025 By TTG Asia / Posted on 8 December, 2020 13:39 InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has plans to triple their number of hotels in Malaysia over the next five years – from the present four properties to more than 14 hotels across six brands. Rajit Sukumaran, managing director, South East Asia & Korea, IHG, expressed long-term confidence in the Malaysian market, despite the coronavirus pandemic’s continued impact on the hospitality industry. Hotel Indigo Kuala Lumpur on the Park will open in Bukit Nanas come 2023 He said in a press release: “There is still plenty of reason for optimism. History tells us that travel will return and, as demand comes back, we’ll be well-positioned to welcome guests to our hotels – and continue to grow. “There’ll clearly be bumps in the road, but governments across South-east Asia and (South) Korea have reacted to reduce the spread of Covid-19, which means that, in most markets, we have seen restrictions start to ease and the easier movement of people domestically, even if borders remain closed.” Serena Lim, vice president, development, South East Asia & Korea, IHG, explained that Malaysia is an important part of IHG’s overall growth strategy and the mainstream hotel segment is key to the company’s expansion in Malaysia. She said: “Mainstream travel is proving to be the most resilient to the crisis around the world, and it’s where we are seeing occupancy levels rebuild the quickest. We see it as key to our growth in peninsula Malaysia and East Malaysia, where we are seeking to unlock secondary markets such as Ipoh, Alor Setar, Kuching and Miri. “We know that, when the pandemic is behind us, we will see more conversions as independent hotel owners look to bring the IHG brand strength, know-how, and system delivery to their hotels.” Lim explained that another part of IHG’s growth strategy is to introduce new luxury and lifestyle brands to the country, such as Kimpton and Hotel Indigo, both of which are set to launch in Kuala Lumpur come 2023. The 471-room Kimpton Kuala Lumpur will be situated in the Tun Razak Exchange area, a new financial district currently being developed in Kuala Lumpur; while the 180-key Hotel Indigo Kuala Lumpur on the Park will open at the base of the picturesque Bukit Nanas. Next year, IHG will also introduce its upscale brand Crowne Plaza in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. The group will also debut its Regent brand in Malaysia, with the slated 2022 opening of the Regent Kuala Lumpur.