IHG Signs With Warisan City Development for New-Build Holiday Inn in Sepang Malaysia

United Kingdom, Denham. August 20, 2019

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has signed a management agreement with Warisan City Development Sdn Bhd — part of the Kienta Group of Companies — for a newbuild Holiday Inn within the lively Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) vicinity.

Holiday Inn Sepang will be conveniently located in Kota Warisan, a mere 15 min drive from the airport's main terminal. KLIA handles almost 60 million passengers a year and is a major transit hub for, among others, the AirAsia and AirAsia X brands, as well as national carrier Malaysian Airlines. With its proximity and easy access to the airport terminals, the hotel will be an ideal location for layover passengers as well as airline crew.

Besides the airport, the Sepang area is also growing from strength to strength as a key commercial hub of Greater Kuala Lumpur, with the hotel well-poised to capture the demand from visiting guests and event companies seeking to capitalise on the area's inter-connectivity. Motorsport spectators and enthusiasts can visit the nearby Sepang International Circuit, once home of the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix. There are also numerous businesses and industrial zones nearby that leverage their connectivity via KLIA. In 2020, E-commerce giant Alibaba will launch the Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) within the airport compound, serving as a regional logistics hub for SMEs.

In addition, the hotel is located near to Xiamen University Malaysia, making it a perfect hub for visitors and university events. Shopaholics can enjoy the Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA, a mall with 170 outlets including stores by premium brands and multiple restaurants — all just a short drive from the hotel.

Holiday Inn Sepang will open in 2021 and will feature 250 rooms. The hotel will house a vibrant cafe and restaurant, and will feature a daytime lounge that will transform into a cocktail bar come nightfall. The property will also feature a modern restaurant, gym and business corner.

The hotel's events capabilities will be substantial: It will serve as a strong MICE location for the area, with four state-of-the-art meeting rooms equipped with technologies and functionalities to run successful events — the largest meeting room will be a ballroom which will host banquets of up to 400 people. The property will also feature an event space that opens out to the hotel's pool area where receptions can be held.

Commenting on this signing, Serena Lim, Vice President, Development, South East Asia & Korea, IHG, said: "The latest addition to our Malaysia portfolio, Holiday Inn Sepang will provide a friendly, affordable and dependable hotel experience to travellers passing through the area. Within close proximity of a major international airport, a large industrial district, a university, and a renown racing circuit, the hotel is perfectly positioned for both business and leisure visitors."

Mr. Low Joo Soon, Director, Warisan City Development said: "We are excited for the group to be partnering IHG again to build the Holiday Inn Sepang. We are confident that the hotel will provide guests with the brand promise of enjoyable travel for everyone. Whether for a single night while passing through the airport, or for an extended visit to the area for business or pleasure."

IHG® has 5 hotels operating across three brands in Malaysia, including: InterContinental®, Holiday Inn®, and Holiday Inn Express®, with a further 10 in the development pipeline due to open within the next five years.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.