L-R Matt Tripolone and Abhijay Sandilya

IHG Hotels and Resorts has promoted two well-known figures in the Australasian market into newly created Managing Director roles, with Matthew Tripolone and Abhijay Sandilya to take charge of the Australasia-Pacific and Japan regions respectively.

Both roles will report to Leanne Harwood, who has moved into the position of Senior Vice President Managing Director Japan, Australasia and Pacific.

IHG Hotels and Resorts Senior VP and Managing Director Japan, Australasia and Pacific, Leanne Harwood.

Tripolone will relocate back to Sydney from his present home in Dubai to take up the role of Managing Director – Australasia and Pacific, effective from 7 September. He steps into a role familiar to many in the local accommodation scene, having led the IHG Hotels and Resorts development team from 2014 to 2017 and playing a central role in kickstarting the company’s growth in Australasia.

Some of Tripolone’s major signings included InterContinental Perth, Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour and InterContinental Hayman Island Resort. Since 2017, he has held the role of VP Development for Middle East and Africa, where he has led a team which has signed 17,000 new rooms in the last three years. Prior to joining IHG, Tripolone held a senior role in the Accor Pacific development team.

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort was signed by Tripolone.

At the same time, IHG’s current VP Development JAPAC, Abhijay Sandilya, will step up into the role of Managing Director – Japan, from 1 October. Sandilya will oversee one of the most important regions for IHG and leaves behind a litany of signing achievements in Australasia, Japan, New Zealand, Fiji, Micronesia and New Caledonia.

Since taking on the Japan development role in 2019, Sandilya has completed major deals including signing the Appi Kogen resort portfolio which will see the InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands debut in the region, all collectively operating under the Ihgana brand in partnership with All Nippon Airways (ANA).

A rendering of the new ANA InterContinental Appi Kogen, which will open in the Japanese resort destination later this year.

In their new roles, both Tripolone and Sandilya will drive growth, performance and operations in their respective markets. IHG Senior Vice President and Managing Director Australasia and Japan, Leanne Harwood, said the company was exceptionally proud of what it has achieved in Australasia and Japan in recent years.

“As we look ahead, we know we must keep ahead of the market in both performance and growth and keep building our reputation as an aspirational place for talent to build their careers,” Harwood said.

IHG Director, Development – Australasia & Pacific, Jael Fischer

“That means we not only need to continue our great momentum, we need to supercharge it.

“We believe that now is the perfect time to evolve our business for the future. The appointment of Managing Directors is a natural next step for our business and gives us the ability to face into the future with confidence and optimism. Matt and Abhijay are both proven and highly respected leaders, and they will help us accelerate IHG’s momentum and position us for the future.”

The appointments and relocations will see Jael Fischer elevated to the role of Director, Development – Australasia and Pacific, reporting to Tripolone in Sydney and continuing her record of high achievement of development in the Australasia and Pacific regions.