InterContinental Hotels has said it is looking to emerging markets, and especially China, to drive future growth.
The world largest hotelier has just announced last year’s profits were up by 26 percent after a recovery of bookings in the United States which accounts for around two-thirds of its earnings.
It opened 8,000 new rooms last year in China and that region saw the group’s highest growth rate.
The hotelier, which owns Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn as well as the InterContinental brand was upbeat about the future saying people still wanted to travel and emerging markets were growing strongly.
“We go where the travellers are. We see good momentum in the US economy with economic data there quite positive while China is our fastest growing region and our business there has doubled in the last two years,” Chief Executive Richard Solomons said.
Intercontinental’s growth in global revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key hotel industry measure, grew at 6.2 percent in 2011 with the
US and China ahead 7.9 percent and 10.7 percent. While there was a fourth-quarter slowdown worldwide to 4.6 percent, the January growth rate recovered to 6.0 percent.
The British group, which operates more than 660,000 rooms in over 4,500 hotels worldwide posted a 26 percent rise in 2011 operating profits, while annual revenue rose nine percent to $1.77 billion.