It’s no longer just IHG, but IHG Hotels and Resorts. In an official statement, a company spokesman says the aim is to “further reflect the hotel group’s purpose of True Hospitality for Good, its evolving story, portfolio and the needs of hotel owners, consumers, and communities around the world”.
Adding the “Hotels & Resorts” descriptor to its trade name, reiterates the company’s collection of 16 brands that sit side by side as one family. The brand refresh reflects the company’s growth to 16 brands welcoming guests and loyalty programme members through the doors of nearly 6,000 hotels across 100 countries. With an updated identity, the company’s stated aim is focused on strengthening perception, how it engages guests, hotel owners and colleagues and better promoting the breadth of its portfolio.
A fresh look and feel: The IHG Hotels & Resorts visual brand identity has also been given a makeover to better tell the stories of the brand and make it more relevant and attractive to consumers – particularly a younger demographic of consumers, as well as hotel owners, colleagues and future talent around the world. Through new colours, photography and font, the new design showcases the brands and hotel experiences in the “most engaging way”.
A place for all: IHG Rewards, one of the largest hotel loyalty programs in the world, also has a corresponding new look and feel. The word “Club” has been removed from its name to reflect the warm welcome that is available to all, with members able to make the most of their travels with exclusive rates, special benefits and easy ways to earn and redeem points at all IHG hotels and partner locations. Going forward, IHG Rewards will be seen out and about more often and in more places.
“The travel industry has faced challenges like never before, and while adapting to new realities we’ve also stayed true to our roots,” said Claire Bennett, Chief Customer Officer, IHG Hotels & Resorts, adding, “Our evolved brand articulates how we bring our purpose of True Hospitality for Good to life for our guests, hotel owners, colleagues and communities. So, as we continue to lead through and beyond the pandemic, we’re clear who we are, what we stand for and how we can help guests open up their world again when they’re ready to travel. And we all feel we need that more than ever, because travel not only opens doors, it opens minds and hearts. That’s why our hotels are more than just a backdrop to life’s special moments, they are a collection of welcoming experiences.”
The group enters 2021 hot on the news that it has yet again been named as a “Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality”.
The company has earned a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and been recognised as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality for the seventh year in a row.
The results of the 2021 CEI showcase how 1,142 US-based companies are not only promoting LGBTQ-friendly workplace policies across the nation, but also for the 57% of CEI-rated companies with global operations who are helping advance the cause of LGBTQ inclusion in workplaces abroad. The CEI rates companies on detailed criteria falling under four central pillars: non-discrimination policies across business entities; equitable benefits for LGBTQ workers and their families; supporting an inclusive culture; and, corporate social responsibility.
“While the past 12 months have presented the hospitality industry with uncertainty and extraordinary challenges, IHG remains steadfast in its commitment to inclusivity and promoting a welcoming environment where all colleagues feel seen, heard and respected,” said Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, Americas, IHG, adding, “This culture of belonging, which extends to colleagues at all levels, will continue to be at the heart of how we operate, serving guests and driving positive change in our communities. We are proud to stand with likeminded organizations that share our commitment to prioritizing inclusion and equality.”
Alphonso David, President, Human Rights Campaign, said: “From the previously unimaginable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, 2020 was an unprecedented year. Yet, many businesses across the nation stepped up and continued to prioritize and champion LGBTQ equality. This year has shown us that tools like the CEI are crucial in the work to increase equity and inclusion in the workplace, but also that companies must breathe life into these policies and practices in real and tangible ways. Thank you to the companies that understand protecting their LGBTQ employees and consumers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do—but the best business decision.”
IHG continues to further a culture of inclusion through key initiatives around the world:
Building on existing Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, in June, IHG announced a series of commitments in the Americas to drive more meaningful progress – both within the company and the communities in which it operates.
In Georgia, home to the company’s Americas headquarters, IHG joined a business community coalition to advocate for the passage of Georgia’s Hate Crime Bill – a measure which was signed into law in June.
Teams around the world came together for virtual Pride festivities this year, such as regional happy hour and trivia celebrations, a brainstorming session hosted by the Americas Out & Open employee resource group where colleagues shared their insights about LGBTQ+ travel as part of input to hotel recovery toolkits, and a digital presence at the 50th annual Atlanta Pride Festival in October.
In November, the company kicked off its first annual Inclusion Week in the Americas region, a week of D&I-focused virtual events where colleagues had an opportunity to engage with Employee Resource Groups, learn from keynote and panel discussions and build deeper connections with colleagues through interactive activities.
IHG is a signatory to the UN LGBTI Standards for Business, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, The Valuable 500, Women in Hospitality’s Diversity in Hospitality Travel and Leisure Charter and The 30% Club, and continues to engage with efforts to support representation and inclusion for all underrepresented communities as a member of the National Diversity Council and the Georgia Diversity Council.