Interview: IHG’s tactics for growth in an established market

Earlier this year Hospitality Investor caught up with Joanna Kurowska, VP and managing director UK and Ireland at IHG Hotels & Resorts.

It can be a challenge growing in an established market like the UK, there aren’t as many opportunities as there might be elsewhere but it also has its advantages.

Kurowska talked us through the brands that she has at her disposal, IHG’s approach to ESG and the value of community.

You can watch the whole interview above but below are some highlights.

On growth opportunities in the UK

JK: It's 350 hotels that we already have in the UK and Ireland. It is our single largest market outside of Americas and Greater China. So it is already a powerhouse.

On how to achieve that growth

JK: Some of it is conversion, some of it far less is new builds just because the market is different than it might have been different five years ago.

On brands

JK: Voco is a brand that ... we have created in 2018 to respond, very early on, before the pandemic, to the conversion trend, we could [see] by then that this is the future that the new builds is going to be different and we need a brand that can be easily convertible not only here in the UK, but globally.


JK: Getting alignment on anything with owners, with stakeholders, with colleagues, with investors with the lenders, it's always work right? That's part of the job of people like myself. That's why when we talk about alignment, and when we talk about doing stuff, my starting position is establish the purpose, establish the why, and then go and find allies to get on a journey with you.