IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) hasconfirmed it will cease management of four Northern Territory hotels in Australia.

In a statement released yesterday morning (Feb 12), IHG said the Crowne Plaza Darwin, Holiday Inn Esplanade Darwin, Holiday Inn Darwin and Crowne Plaza Alice Springs would leave the chain on May 1, 2013.

The management contracts for these four Australian properties in the Northern Territory – all currently owned by Ludvik Berger’s Berger Hotel Group – will not be renewed, IHG said, adding the decision was reached after both parties looked to other opportunities.

“While we are saddened by the end of a long relationship, IHG is confident of its future in Australia,” said IHG’s Head of Development for Australasia, Phil Kasselis.

“We still have strong brand distribution across the country, and we will now actively pursue opportunities in Darwin – among other cities.”

Having been in the group’s development team for 13 years, Kasselis – who relocated back to Sydney at the start of2013 – said he has made “brand integrity and quality expansion” his priority for Australia.

“It’s great to be home, and I’m energised by the task ahead, which is to bring the right IHG brands, to the right locations, with the right partners,” he said.

“We are in the brands business and it is our absolute responsibility to ensure hotels under our management have the right investments and quality behind them so we can deliver the guest experience our customers have come to expect.

“We have some exciting developments in the works, which we’ll look to share in the coming months,” Kasselis said.