By Simon Zekaria
–Intercontinental Hotels’ CEO ottimista sulla ripresa europea
–Impatto della crisi del debito in Europa su hotel e mercato dei viaggi sarà di breve durata
–IHG intende più che raddoppiare la propria presenza nei mercati emergenti nei prossimi anni
LONDRA (MarketWatch) — Crisi del debito in Europa potrebbe avere un impatto a breve termine sulla struttura globale e il mercato dei viaggi, ma Intercontinental Hotels Group PLC (IHG.LN ), il più grande del mondo operatore alberghiero per numero di camere, è ottimista su un eventuale recupero anche come mali macroeconomici nuvola visibilità, Amministratore Delegato Richard Solomons ha detto Dow Jones Newswires.
Ampi archivi cali hanno continuato tutti i mercati, mentre i prezzi del petrolio e l'euro hanno subito cadute in un sell-off globale, gli investitori prendono le loro posizioni sui timori fresche su un default greco.
“If you look around the world and you are looking for signs of a slowdown, Europe probably is it,” said Solomons in a recent interview. “We have to recognize the euro zone has got some issues economically and the resolution of that, whichever way it goes, is potentially going to have some short-term impact. But long term, I am sure they’ll get it right. It’s a huge, wealthy population.
“We are actually quite small in some of the worst markets –Grecia, Irlanda, Portogallo, Spain.” Solomons added.
Solomons said Eastern Europe remains key to its growth potential even though the group’s major focus for expansion is booming emerging economies. “[L'Europa è] not going to be the fastest growing part of our business over the next few years, but I think there are opportunities, particularly in some of the developing markets there.”
IHG, which largely operates a franchise rather than direct ownership model, has seven brands but has previously said it has the scope to widen its portfolio, given the roster of rivals which have more than double that number, such as U.S.-based Marriott International Inc.
, which owns the Ritz-Carlton chain, and Sheraton-owner Starwood Hotels Resorts Worldwide Inc.
It plans to more than double the size of its operations in China, India and the Middle East in the next few years as it takes advantage of growing traveller numbers and global economic trends, boosted by increased life expectancy, the use of low-cost airlines and Internet access.
The company expects to provide more information on the roll-out of a new upscale brand in China towards the end of the year, and on a new midscale brand in the U.S. early next year.
Solomons said there are plans to export the Chinese brand internationally. “I think we will. Non posso [dire] quite how or when. We know that it will have an appeal in the broader Asia market, and probably longer term [ci] volontà [essere] an opportunity to put it into even Western markets where there is going to be a lot of Asian business.”
Solomons said the group, con circa 4,500 hotels and a further 1,200 in the pipeline, ha “enormous growth built in,” but added it remains on the lookout for add-on deals.
“We don’t need to do mergers and acquisitions to grow. If you think about our scale markets where we have expertise, it probably makes most sense to bolt something on–[quali] in the U.S., China and the Middle East.”