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InterContinental Seeks New Asian Luxury Hotel Brands, CEO Says

InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, the third-biggest hotels operator in Asia by number of rooms, is seeking to add new luxury chains in that region, either by acquiring a competitor or by developing its own brand, according to Chief Executive Officer Richard Solomons.

"There’s clearly an opportunity to add another luxury brand or two, particularly in Asia," Solomons said on the sidelines of the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin on Monday.

Hoteliers are expanding in Asia to take advantage of rising tourism in the region. The Asia and Pacific region had 277 million international tourist arrivals in 2015, 5 percent more than a year earlier, according to data compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. InterContinental started the luxury Hualuxe brand in the region in 2012.

InterContinental, whose brands include Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, acquired U.S.-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants last year for $430 million. It will continue to grow the Kimpton brand globally, after opening in its first location outside the U.S. in January in Amsterdam, Solomons said.

"Paris, Rome, London, those are the sorts of markets we’re looking at," he said. It may also open in Asia, he said.

InterContinental, with 128,000 rooms in Asia-Pacific, is that region’s third-biggest hotel company by number of rooms, trailing Jin Jiang International Holdings Co. and Accor SA, according to data compiled by STR.

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