IHG launches Holiday Inn Express Brand in Russia

LONDON—InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is set to its Holiday Inn Express brand in Russia, the Commonweath of Independent States (CIS) and Georgia. In cooperation with Regional Hotel Chain (RHC), Russia’s hotel property developer, IHG has introduced Holiday Inn Express Voronezh-Kirova, which marks the debut of the brand in the region and will open its doors in just a few weeks.

The opening comes only months after IHG brought its Hotel Indigo brand to Russia for the first time, with the opening of Hotel Indigo St Petersburg–Tchaikovskogo.

RHC, a portfolio company of VIY Management (VIYM) and IHG, signed a franchise multiple development agreement (MDA) in 2013 to develop a number of Holiday Inn Express hotels by 2019. The MDA is a significant step toward IHG’s ambition to be the market leader in Russia, the CIS and Georgia, with 100 hotels open or in the development pipeline by 2020. 

Robert Shepherd, chief development officer, Europe, IHG, said: “Russia, the CIS and Georgia is a priority market for us, and we want to be number one there. In line with our strategy, we are expanding our portfolio of brands in the region and, in March of this year, we brought our upscale boutique brand Hotel Indigo to Russia.  We have also identified a gap in the market for quality, affordable midmarket accommodation, and our Holiday Inn Express brand meets the needs of our owners and our guests perfectly. We’re delighted to be partnering with VIY Management and its hotel business, RHC—a proven and highly respected hotel developer and operator in Russia.”

The 145-room Holiday Inn Express Voronezh-Kirova is located in the heart of Voronezh city center, and is within walking distance of Voronezh State Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Local Museum, Annunciation Cathedral and Koltsov Square.

All rooms are the same size, however guests can choose between a family room with a sofa, a king-size double or a twin room. Guests have the option of two pillow choices—soft or firm. Each room has a workspace with a desk and chair, flat-screen TV, safe, bathroom with shower, large mirror, hairdryer and toiletries. The complimentary Express Start breakfast bar features a full range of breakfast items, including regional and local dishes.

Michael Johnston, CEO of Regional Hotel Chain LLC, said: “We’re thrilled to be opening our first Holiday Inn Express hotel under our MDA with IHG, and also our first modular constructed hotel. Our agreement with IHG is of strategic importance to us, providing us with an excellent platform for further growth as we continue to develop hotels throughout Russia.”

Dmitry Schuetzle, managing director of VIYM, added:  “Some question whether now is the right time to be investing in Russia. At VIYM, we are pleased that the world-renowned hotel group IHG shares our view on the attractive long-term investment potential in Russia’s fast-growing hotel market. Today we launch the Holiday Inn Express brand in Voronezh, while the headroom for further growth for us across Russia remains substantial.”