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InterContinental sees boost from new US web site

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 12, 2012 12:48 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, the world's largest hotelier, expects a boost to its business in the United States after linking up with five of its rivals in a newly-launched online hotel search website called Room Key.

Chief Executive Richard Solomons said on Thursday that the British group already sees a quarter of its bookings made online and it will be advantageous to offer a choice from six of the world's biggest chains as they battle slower global growth.

"I think it will be helpful to our business, because it is very efficient for our hotel owners and very simple for consumers to use, allowing them to make comparisons in a very unbiased way," Solomons told Reuters by telephone.

The new website roomkey.com was launched on Wednesday for U.S. hotel customers offering them a simple search across hotels from the six groups, and will expand to other English-speaking regions such as Britain, Canada and Australia later this year.

"It will offer a lot more choice for consumers from a big bunch of brands which have critical mass in the U.S.," Solomons added.

The hotelier, home of Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn as well as InterContinental runs over 4,500 hotels through the world and earns around two thirds of its profits in the United States.

The six founder members of the new website include InterContinental as well as Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotel Group.

(Reporting by David Jones; Editing by Greg Mahlich)