Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) is making an entry into the Swedish market with the signing of a 420-room hotel project to be developed in Stockholm by local property landlord Björnbäckens Fastighets.
The new development at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, which is being announced at Expo Real this week, marks the group’s return to the country. The greenfield project is expected to be completed in 2026 and will offer a total of 420 rooms to be operated under the mixed Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express hotel brands.
Speaking to PropertyEU ahead of Expo Real, Willemijn Geels, IHG’s vice president development for Europe said: ‘This hotel will offer a combination of 120 Crowne Plaza rooms and 300 Holiday Inn Express rooms, combining an upscale with a mid-scale offering,’ Willemijn Geels, IHG’s vice president development for Europe told PropertyEU in an interview. ‘We know the combination of these two brands works well because we have already experimented this mix in Nice and in Warsaw. It also allows us to capture operational energies.’
IHG, based in the UK, pursues an ‘asset-light’ business model, focused on franchising and managing hotels, rather than owning them, enabling it to grow at an accelerated pace with limited capital investment. The group has a strong foothold in Europe with hotels in most of the European countries including in developing tourism economies such as Montenegro and Albania, which it entered last year.
‘We see a lot of potential for growth in Europe across all the market segments,’ Geels said. ‘Of course we are targeting growth in our city offering but also in the leisure oriented segment, where we see big opportunities mainly in southern Europe. This segment also helps us to diversify our portfolio. In the luxury category we recently bought Regent, a superluxury brand, very exclusive, which we are looking to grow to a maximum of 40-50 destinations globally.’