Holiday Inn turns 60 this month, and is celebrating the many innovations that have led to the diamond anniversary for the iconic brand here and around the world.
Six decades after the first Holiday Inn hotel opened in Memphis Tennessee in the US, there are more than 3375 Holiday Inn brand family hotels around the world. What began as a roadside inn has become a household name across the globe, and a pioneer of many firsts for the hotel industry – such as being the first to invite children under 12 to stay and eat free whenever staying at Holiday Inn, anywhere in the world.
Other innovations include being the first hotel brand to offer online bookings in 1995, and to introduce computerised reservations in 1965. Most recently, Holiday Inn completed the biggest relaunch ever undertaken by a travel brand, with the investment of US$1 billion into upgrading more than 3300 hotels worldwide.
This month, Holiday Inn will be the first international hotel brand to open its 60th hotel in Greater China, Holiday Inn Resort Changbaishan – a fitting achievement given it was also the first international hotel brand to be introduced to China, in 1984.
Here in Australasia, the innovations spread from the practical, such as Holiday Inn Sydney Airport being the first hotel in Asia Pacific to introduce paperless check-in, to the extraordinary, best demonstrated by the world's only crocodile-shaped hotel, Holiday Inn Gagudju in Kakadu, Northern Territory.
"For us, Holiday Inn's 60th birthday is a celebration of the constant innovation that has kept the brand relevant to our guests – demonstrated most recently by the US$1 billion invested into refreshing more than 3300 Holiday Inn properties worldwide. It's this series of firsts that has allowed Holiday Inn to remain one of the world's best known and fastest-growing hotel brands," Bill Edwards, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) Australasia director of operations said.
"Holiday Inn's 60th anniversary is a chance for us to share these achievements and invite others to experience what keeps our regular guests coming back time after time," Bill said.
Holiday Inn hotels around the world will be celebrating their own firsts in honour of the brand's diamond anniversary this month, with guests invited to get involved. Here in Australasia, Holiday Inn is offering guests the chance to win diamond jewellery and free nights* by sharing photos of their favourite birthday moments on the Holiday Inn's Facebook fan page's new Guestbook gallery.
Existing Holiday Inn fans on Facebook will get automatic access to the new Holiday Inn Guestbook app, which launches today in celebration of the brand's 60th birthday. New fans will simply need to Like Holiday Inn Australasia on Facebook to get involved for the chance at sharing in Holiday Inn's diamond anniversary.
For more information on Holiday Inn, visit www.holidayinn.com.au.
* Free nights will be awarded as Priority Club Rewards points.