IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary down under, representing 60 years since the first InterContinental hotel opened its doors to the Australian market.
The InterContinental Southern Cross Hotel Melbourne was launched on 14 August 1962 by US airline Pan Am, founder of the InterContinental brand, attracting world-famous names like Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Princes Charles and Princes Diana, Marlene Dietrich and The Beatles with its American-style luxury.
Bass Hotels & Resorts acquired the Holiday Inn and InterContinental brands in the 1980s and 90s before obtaining Southern Pacific Hotels Corporation in 2000 and subsequently spinning off its hotels business, which was known as Six Continents. The group then rebranded to InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in 2003 before finally becoming IHG Hotels & Resorts – as we know it today – in 2021.
IHG will mark the milestone with a series of celebrations that kick off this month at its hotels around the country, including a special edition 60th Anniversary IHG Tim Tam Slice created by the InterContinental Hayman Island team – a tribute to another Aussie icon born around the same time.
There will also be a social media series with video messages from people who have worked for the IHG team over the past 60 years, such as Keith Barr, IHG’s current global CEO who led the Australasia, New Zealand, and Pacific region from 2006-2009.
Leanne Harwood, SVP Managing Director for IHG Hotels & Resorts – Japan, Australasia & Pacific, said, “This really is a wonderful time of celebration, reflection and excitement about the future as we come into our ‘Diamond Era’ for IHG”.
“This anniversary is a chance for us to give back and say thank you. Thank you to our colleagues, thank you to owners, thank you to our past leaders and thank you to our loyal guests, who have been with us on this exciting journey.”
Harwood also highlighted the group’s “bright future”, commenting that it is experiencing “faster than ever” growth, with hotels under new brands like Kimpton, Hotel Indigo, voco and Vignette Collection in the pipeline for the Australasian region, as well as continued expansion of the Holiday Inn band family, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental brands.
Today, IHG’s portfolio features 68 hotels in Australia alone, and 95 across the broader Australasia & Pacific region, spanning eight brands and three collections – InterContinental, Kimpton, Vignette Collection and Hotel Indigo in the Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio; voco and Crowne Plaza in the Premium portfolio; and Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express in the Essentials portfolio.