BY JOACHIM BAMRUD
UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG), the worlds largest hotel operator by number of rooms, is growing strongly in Latin America and is expected to continue doing so in the future as well, company officials and independent experts say.
"I’m extremely satisfied with the first half results," says Alvaro Diago, president of InterContinental Hotels Group Latin America. "Our hotels overall have had an increase in occupancy, and rate."
IHG does not break down
That growth has been spurred by a combination of factors, including a dramatic increase in passenger flows into Latin America and intra-regionally, strong business at the hotels in Central America and
Another key factor is the growth in franchising, says Embree C. "Chuck" Bedsole, managing director of the hospitality and leisure group at Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services. "The company has attained [rapid growth] via a strong franchising program," he says. "This program has allowed [it] to increase their presence in the region without devoting large amounts of capital expenditures in the development of new hotels."
Of IHGs 61 properties in