$1bn InterContinental investment paying off; new services planned


InterContinental Hotels & Resorts says its ongoing $1 billion investment to improve the quality of its hotels worldwide and establish brand presence at more key destinations is paying off.

Complementing this investment, which will be complete in 2004, InterContinental is also launching a host of new service initiatives that will further strengthen the brand's position as the premier hotel for today's international business traveler, the group says.

Details were announced at press conferences and official receptions at seven key InterContinental destinations around the world Ñ Beirut, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, New York, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo.

The launch for the Middle East and Africa took place at the InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut, one of 42 InterContinental hotels currently under management across the region by Six Continents Hotels, and one of three InterContinental properties in Lebanon.

Six Continents, the parent company of InterContinental, is investing the $1 billion, refurbishing major InterContinental properties around the world, including those in New York, Miami, Vienna, Budapest, Madrid and San Francisco and in acquiring new hotels, such as the prominent InterContinental in Hong Kong, to add to InterContinental's 140 hotel portfolio.

In conjunction with property improvements and the launch of new services, InterContinental's 40,000 employees worldwide have undergone extensive training to support the services being introduced for the international business traveller.

Thomas R Oliver, chairman and chief executive officer of Six Continents Hotels, said: "This investment reflects that effort. We've modernised properties, bought properties, and driven new service standards across the globe."

"Following extensive research in over 25 countries we're introducing a host of new initiatives to meet and exceed our guests needs.

"We've substantially reduced check-in and check-out times, improved travellers' ability to keep in touch from our hotels, and ensured that guests can get exactly what they need whenever they need it.

"We've also provided practical packs and advice so guests are guaranteed to get the best from their stay - whether that's understanding local tipping customs or knowing the best places to shop."

"Our guests work around the globe and occasionally around the clock, and we know that the better we do our job, the easier it will be to do theirs."