The Holiday Inn Express chain is to firm its presence in India following the signing of a deal to build another 19 properties by 2016.

The 19 hotels will be added to seven Holiday Inn Express properties already in the pipeline and are the result of a new 20-year management contract between parent company InterContinental Hotels Group and Duet India Hotels Group. IHG will take a 24% stake in the joint venture via a $30 million investment.

The first Holiday Inn Express will open in Ahmedabad in mid-2012. They will add 3,300 rooms to IHG’s current India development programme of 46 hotels and 10,000 rooms that will come online by 2016. The Holiday Inn Express properties will be mainly located in major and secondary cities including New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

IHG chief financial officer and head of commercial development Richard Solomons said: “By investing a small amount of our own capital we have established a strategic relationship with a fantastic partner who knows the market, securing a future fee stream and opening up a huge opportunity for us to develop the Holiday Inn Express brand across India.”

He said IHG was on target to have 150 properties in India by 2020, spread across several brands including Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.

Holiday Inn Express currently opens an average two properties a week globally. There are now more than 2,000 such hotels with almost 500 under development. IHG plans to make Holiday Inn Express a key plank of its expansion in India, where there is a growing demand for budget and mid-range accommodation.

Henry Gabay, Duet Group co-founder and chairman, said; “Mid-market hotels are the core focus of our hotel business in India and this deal will support the expansion of our growing hospitality development portfolio to its targeted 5,000-6,000 rooms from 1,250 rooms today.”

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