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MKG Hospitality Ranks 2009's Top 20 Global Hotel Brands

The world's top 20 chain hotel brands together saw their global room supply increase by 3.5% by the beginning of 2009, as per MKG Hospitality's global ranking 2009. La Quinta Inns & Suites joined the group this year, whilst three brands experienced a positive position change: Hampton Inn moved up one spot to seventh; Ibis moved three places to 15th; and Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts jumped two spots to 17th.

"Overall, this is a significant growth compared to the previous five years, with many projects already commencing being realised. Among the most notable trends this year is the performance of economy segment brands, such as Holiday Inn ExpressIbis and Hampton Inn," explains director of development, MKG Hospitality, Vanguélis Panayotis. "We can certainly expect the trend to remain positive in 2010, as projects are already at an advance stage," adds Panayotis.

Best Western
Although recording a slight decrease, Best Western remains the world's largest hotel brand with over 300,000 rooms. "This is due to quality control as we continue to separate from underperforming hotels and replace them with properties that better live up to our brand's promise of great value and excellent service," says director of external communications, Best Western International, Troy Rutman.

Extensive development plans in new international markets, namely China, India, the Middle East and South America, as well as North America should make sure the brand retains the number one spot for the short to medium term future. "One important development here at home (North America) is the launch of Best Western Atrea, an upper midscale, business friendly hotel that can be built more cost effectively than its direct competition. We have 30 of these in the pipeline, including the already-active Best Western Atrea Hotel and Suites in San Antonio, Texas," adds Rutman.

Holiday Inn, although also experiencing a decline, remained the second largest brand, with just under 250,000 rooms worldwide.

InterContinental Hotel Group
Meanwhile the most significant growth came from InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG)'s other two brands, Crowne Plaza, with a 12.3% increase in room supply and Express by Holiday Inn, with an 11% rise and fast approaching the 2,000 property mark. The latter also has the group's largest expansion plans. "IHG is growing five times faster than we were five years ago. We have a globally aligned business model and strong systems that drive over 70% of our guests to our hotels. The $1 billion Holiday Inn re-launch is the biggest single initiative in the hotel industry and including Express we expect to re-launch over 3,200 hotels by the end of 2010. We also have over 1,000 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels in our development pipeline and with the recession causing many travellers to trade down from upscale brands, the re-launch is perfect timing," comments CEO, InterContinental Hotels Group, Andy Cosslett.

According to Cosslett, the main engine of growth for IHG remains North America due to the scale of the market, but there are also major growth plans for all group's brands. "Even in these tough times we will open over 400 hotels in 2009. Despite the current lack of liquidity in the market impacting the speed we are able to sign new deals, the long term growth prospects for the industry remain very encouraging."

Accor's economy segment brands also experienced outstanding growth, particularly Ibis, recording a 9.5% increase in global room supply and now controlling over 800 properties, as well as Motel 6, opening its one thousandth hotel. "Certain number of national economies have been affected by the global crisis, which has lead us to re-centre our expansion strategy, focussing on more promising markets, such as Brazil, India, Morocco and Algeria," remarks president & CEO, Accor Group, Gilles Pélisson at the recent Global Lodging Forum in Paris organised by MKG Group.

Other notable changes came from Hilton's Hampton Inn, up by 8.4% and now with over 1,600 properties worldwide, La Quinta Inns & Suites (7.7%) and Wyndham Hotel Group's Ramada (7.5%). Meanwhile, Mercure recorded an 8.4% decrease, which was however due Accor's repositioning strategy of rebranding certain higher quality hotels to MGallery and lower grade properties to the All Seasons (2-star) brand.
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