March 15 (SeeNews) - UK hospitality company IHG Hotels & Resorts said it will open two new Holiday Inn hotels in Serbia in 2024 and will launch the Holiday Inn Express brand on the Bulgarian market in early 2025, as part of its ongoing drive for growth in Southern Europe.
IHG is working in partnership with Austrian real estate firm Signa Development to launch a 152-room hotel near the Bulgarian capital's airport, the UK hotel operator said in a press release on Tuesday. Holiday Inn Express Sofia Airport will be the first local site under that brand.
IHG already has sites under the Holiday Inn in Sofia and Plovdiv, and a Crowne Plaza hotel in Sofia.
In Serbia, the UK hotel operator has teamed up with local construction company SMB Gradnja to develop the 108-room hotel Holiday Inn Express Subotica in 2024, which will be under the group's Next Generation site design.
South of the northern Serbian town of Subotica, IHG has teamed up with MR Business Group to launch Holiday Inn Express Kragujevac, which will be the city's first international brand hotel. This hotel is also slated for opening in 2024.
"We’ve seen some impressive expansion across Southern Europe in recent years and the growth of our Holiday Inn brand family demonstrates the continuous confidence of owners in our essentials as a powerhouse brand," IHG's vice president Development Europe, Willemijn Geels, said. She added that the bulk of growth is set to be driven by the group's essential brands.
As of end-2022, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express accounted for over 50% of IHG’s total property estate in Europe with 544 existing hotels and another 73 in the pipeline. IHG owns over 6,100 hotels worldwide and over 18 brands in its portfolio, including Crowne Plaza, Indigo and Intercontinental.
In 2021, IHG opened its first hotel in Serbia's capital Belgrade, under the Hotel Indigo boutique brand.