Holiday Inn Express

IHG (InterContinental Hotel Group) has signed a deal with international investment company, Pro Invest Group, to establish a $150 million fund to develop a portfolio of 15 Holiday Inn Express hotels across Australia.

The deal was announced as the final morning of this year’s HotelsWorld conference in Sydney on July 25 and was a major talking point for the 300-plus delegates in attendance.

Pro Invest has created a property development and hotel operating company to build and operate an initial 15 Holiday Inn Express hotels, totalling approximately 2,150 rooms, in central business, suburban and airport locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

IHG said it would enter into franchise agreements for each of the hotels under a multiple development agreement signed between the two companies.

The first hotel will open at Macquarie Park in North Ryde, Sydney in the autumn of 2014.

“This fund is comprised of a group of offshore investors, all who see the potential of investing in both the Holiday Inn Express brand, and Australia,” said Ronald Barrott, principal of Pro Invest.

“We believe now is the time to grow this brand in the market and travellers will certainly benefit from having one of the world’s biggest hotel brands to choose from.

“My previous experience in the UK tells me this partnership with IHG will be a long and successful one, and that there is plenty of opportunity to grow this initial portfolio of 15 Holiday Inn Express hotels to become many more in the years to come.”

Barrott, has been a strong partner for the brand, having already developed a portfolio of Holiday Inn Express properties in Europe in the 1990s and early 2000s with Stannifer Hotels.

As Founder, CEO and Chairman of the company, Barrott led Stannifer to become one of the UK’s largest and most successful select service hotel groups.

IHG Asia, Middle East and Africa CEO, Jan Smits said Holiday Inn Express is the smart choice for value-conscious business and leisure travellers.

“The announcement of this investment fund comes at a great time for IHG in Australia. Our current hotel brands here, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, are already well known and regarded by our hotel owners, and Holiday Inn Express is a welcome addition,” he said.

“We announced our first signing under this brand earlier this year and that hotel will open in Perth, Western Australia in 2015. Pro Invest’s portfolio will launch with the opening of Holiday Inn Express North Ryde in autumn 2014.

“We have established a strong hotel franchising model to provide owners and investors in Australia, such as Pro Invest, with a reliable and profitable alternative to our equally-successful management model. This is an exciting example of the growth and development of IHG in this market, and a strong sign of confidence in IHG’s offering.”

Holiday Inn Express North Ryde will offer 190 rooms and packages include free breakfast and free WiFi.