31 Mar 2016

James Britchford, VP sales and marketing - India, Middle East & Africa, IHG

James Britchford, vice president sales and marketing - India, Middle East & Africa, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) exclusively shares the ways in which the world-respected hotel group caters to every beck and call of the high-end corporate traveller.

TTG: How does IHG go above and beyond to serve the needs of the luxury corporate traveller?

Luxury means different things to different people – we create luxury for each individual guest through thoughtful and understated service. 

TTG: Do you have any programmes in place to entice repeat business from these executive travellers?

In April 2015 we launched IHG Business Rewards as part of IHG Rewards Club. IHG Business Rewards is a new, global bookings programme offering rewards on all qualified business bookings for guest rooms, meetings and all events booked at IHG hotels worldwide. Members will be rewarded with IHG Rewards Club points for their B2B business, in a single global programme. 

We are giving our members a seamless, more personal experience by using our existing IHG Rewards Club loyalty platform and infrastructure, points engine and redemption partners. 

TTG: What facilities or experiences do you provide the elite corporate traveller that’s looking to mix business with leisure on an unlimited budget?

Crowne Plaza is our premium hotel brand that supports ambitious, career-focused travellers; putting them in control of their travel experience so they can be on top of their work and at the top of their game – we help them to work, connect and recharge. 

One of the fastest growing brands in this sector with over 400 hotels in 63 countries, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts is the second largest upscale hotel brand globally, with hotels located in major urban centres, gateway cities and resort destinations. The hotels provides 24-hour business services and fully equipped fitness centres so our guests can work productively, connect with colleagues and re-energise in order to reach their optimal performance. 

Crowne Plaza has a range of food and beverage outlets that are ideal for hosting clients or business associates. In January 2015, we announced a partnership with Teresa Cutter, classically-trained chef and nutrition expert, to develop a range of healthy and delicious food options for Crowne Plaza’s meetings’ menus throughout AMEA. Each recipe has been optimised to enhance the overall dining experience for guests who are looking to savour culinary masterpieces.

TTG: What trends are you currently aware of in the world of corporate luxury? How is IHG capitalising on them?

We are focused on empowering ambitious, career-focused travellers – the ‘new school business traveller’. They are high achieving and self-sufficient professionals that are climbing the ladder of success, who are focused on reaching their goals, one after another. They live to work and see career success as a measure of their personal success.

Our Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage programme (currently available in the Middle East, Japan and in AMEA) ensures that guests have a good night’s sleep and have the energy needed for the day ahead.

In November 2014, we began rolling out our Crowne Plaza Work, Rest, Restore programme in phases. The programme brings together and showcases our Sleep Advantage, healthy meetings menu with Teresa Cutter and leading business facilities at our properties around AMEA.