Holiday Inn turns 60 this month and owners IHG are celebrating the many innovations that have led to the diamond anniversary for the brand here and around the world.
Six decades after the first Holiday Inn hotel opened in Memphis Tennessee in the US, there are more than 3375 Holiday Inn brand family hotels around the world. What began as a roadside inn has become a household name across the globe, and a pioneer of many firsts for the hotel industry – such as being the first to invite children under 12 to stay and eat free whenever staying at Holiday Inn, anywhere in the world.
Other innovations include being the first hotel brand to offer online bookings in 1995, and to introduce computerised reservations in 1965. Most recently, Holiday Inn completed the biggest relaunch ever undertaken by a travel brand, with the investment of US$1 billion into upgrading more than 3300 hotels worldwide.
This month (Aug), Holiday Inn will be the first international hotel brand to open its 60th hotel in Greater China, Holiday Inn Resort Changbaishan– a fitting achievement given it was also the first international hotel brand to be introduced to China, in 1984.
Here in Australasia, the innovations spread from the practical, such as Holiday Inn Sydney Airport being the first hotel in Asia Pacific to introduce paperless check-in, to the extraordinary, best demonstrated by the world’s only crocodile-shaped hotel, Holiday Inn Gagudju in Kakadu, Northern Territory.
“For us, Holiday Inn’s 60th birthday is a celebration of the constant innovation that has kept the brand relevant to our guests – demonstrated most recently by the US$1 billion invested into refreshing more than 3300Holiday Inn properties worldwide. It’s this series of firsts that has allowed Holiday Inn to remain one of the world’s best known and fastest-growing hotel brands,” said IHG’s (InterContinental Hotels Group) Australasia Director of Operations, Bill Edwards.
“Holiday Inn’s 60th anniversary is a chance for us to share these achievements and invite others to experience what keeps our regular guests coming back time after time,” he said.
On Wednesday night (Aug 1), Holiday Inn Sydney Airport put on a green-themed bash for hotel guests, to celebrate the anniversary.
Guests joined hotel staff and representatives from IHG in Biggles Bar for drinks, canapés and cake to celebrate the global milestone.
Partygoers also had the chance to win a prize pack including 20,000 Priority Club Reward points, by testing their skills in a putt putt competition. The prize was taken out by Platinum Member and hotel guest, Ian Gillon.