IHG Promotes Willemijn Geels to Vice President of Development, Europe

United Kingdom, Denham. March 19, 2019

IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the world's leading hotel companies, has today announced the promotion of Willemijn Geels to Vice President of Development, Europe.

In her new position, Willemijn will be responsible for driving the expansion of the group's brands across the European Business Unit, encompassing luxury, upscale and mainstream opportunities through managed and franchised deal structures. In addition to identifying new opportunities, Willemijn's team will continue to work closely with owners and investors in a support and advisory capacity to drive long-term revenue.

Willemijn, who is fluent in five European languages, will remain based in IHG's Paris office though will travel extensively across the region. Her wider development team is located throughout key markets in offices in Europe including London, Frankfurt and Moscow, with further expertise on the ground in other markets applying local knowledge.

Willemijn brings to the role 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and holds an MBA in International Hospitality Management. Prior to joining IHG in 2005, Willemijn was Development & Acquisitions Director for Europe at Louvre Hotels Group. She also gained experience in Deloitte's Transport, Hospitality and Leisure team in Paris, where she led multiple hotel valuations, feasibility studies, and transaction and strategic advisory assignments. 

The move comes at an exciting time for IHG's European business, which has played a significant role in driving the highest number of signings and openings in the region for 10 years. Further opportunities lie in the strong growth of new upscale brand voco™ and new mainstream brand avid™ the expansion of luxury boutique brand Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants and the recent acquisition of wellness and sustainability brand Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, which sits in the top-tier of luxury.

Karin Sheppard, Managing Director Europe, IHG, commented: "Willemijn's promotion reflects IHG's focus on building further momentum and capitalising on the significant growth opportunities we see across Europe. With her extensive background in operations, consulting and development, Willemijn is perfectly positioned to further drive growth with our owners at this dynamic time for the business."Willemijn Geels added: "It is a privilege to move into this role at a time of such strong and diverse growth for Europe. My team and I look forward to working in close partnership with our existing owners and developers to drive stronger returns, as well as bringing new partners into the IHG family."

The news follows the recent announcement of two new senior appointments in the Europe Development team: Josh Littman, Head of Luxury Development, Europe and Jon Colley, Head of Development UK&I, who will both report into Willemijn and further reinforce IHG's development presence across Europe.

Related News

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close
Coming up in May 2019...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.