InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will be cutting jobs in order to combat the economic slowdown, top executives admitted yesterday.
Speaking at IHG's 2008 Asia Pacific Leadership conference in Shenzhen, China, Peter Gowers, chief executive of Asia Pacific, admitted the group would have "very difficult decisions to make".
"We'll have to reduce the amount of hours in hotels, and people who are very dear to us will have to leave us," he said.
Gowers said that, as corporate costs were rising for both food and salaries, it would be harder to access new funds for development and that they also faced new competition from hotels in China that were not there a year ago.
Elsewhere at the conference, IHG chief executive Andy Cosslett urged hoteliers in the region to "tighten their belts" in order to ride out the economic storm.
"We need to make sure our staffing levels are right and be sure that we are getting the most from our scale and resources," he said. "I need you to stay very focused on costs and identify new ways to improve global efficiency.
"Keep your head up and your shoulders back," Cosslett added. "You have to work harder over the next six months."
IHG revealed it is introducing a performance yield management IT system for hotels, software designed to enable its general managers to work out which costs are easiest to cut.
It is also looking at introducing a global procurement system in a bid to reduce the cost of obtaining staff.
By Gemma Sharkey
E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next hotel job here with Caterersearch.com jobs