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IHG Hotels & Resorts and NOVUM Hospitality sign agreement that doubles IHG’s hotel presence in Germany, launches Holiday Inn – the niu collaboration, and debuts Garner and Candlewood Suites brands



LONDON, April 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) and NOVUM Hospitality announce a long-term agreement that will double IHG’s presence in Germany to more than 200 hotels in almost 100 cities through an exciting Holiday Inn – the niu brand collaboration and European debuts for IHG’s Garner and Candlewood Suites brands.

The agreement with NOVUM Hospitality, one of Germany’s largest private hotel operators, owned by David Etmenan, will make IHG one of the leading players in midscale and upper midscale, and includes the following key elements:

  • Up to 108 NOVUM Hospitality otpen hotels (15,334 rooms) and 11 hotels under development (2,369 rooms) are expected to join IHG’s system between 2024 and 2028. Conversion of the hotels to IHG’s system will happen in phases beginning in 2024, with the majority to take place over the next 24 months. This will increase IHG’s global system size by up to 1.9% over the coming years.
  • A total of 52 open and pipeline hotels will join IHG through a distinctive collaboration between Holiday Inn and the niu, NOVUM Hospitality’s stylish, flagship upper midscale brand. This will combine the domestic presence of the niu with Holiday Inn’s trusted reputation and global brand recognition to build a leading position in a key target market. NOVUM Hospitality’s other brands, Yggotel, Select and Novum with 56 open and pipeline hotels will convert to IHG’s new midscale conversion brand, Garner, and the acora Living the City brand with 11 open and pipeline hotels will convert to IHG’s midscale extended stay brand, Candlewood Suites.
  • Under the agreement, IHG will receive franchise fees after the phased conversion of existing properties and upon the opening of the hotels under development. Additionally, standard assessments will be received into IHG’s System Fund, including those to cover the operation of IHG One Rewards, and marketing and reservation services. IHG will contribute key money capital expenditure that will reflect the phased conversion and timing of openings of this major portfolio of hotels.
  • The agreement includes an exclusivity arrangement for future NOVUM Hospitality hotels to join IHG’s leading brands and enterprise system, with an ambition to jointly develop further hotels over time.
  • The agreement has a term of 30 years and the option to renew for additional terms.

A total of 111 NOVUM Hospitality properties are in Germany, with the remaining eight in Austria, the Netherlands and the UK. Germany is one of Europe’s largest hotel markets, with strong domestic consumption, inbound and outbound travel. In 2022, there were over 450 million overnight stays in Germany, the second highest in Europe, and the country generated the highest number of international outbound travellers globally, around 100 million.

IHG’s growth in Germany will be supported by continued investment in building localised commercial platforms, such as the recent introduction of loyalty partnerships and improved booking systems. IHG expects its increased scale to bring significant benefits to NOVUM Hospitality and other IHG owners, including higher brand awareness, direct bookings and loyalty engagement, to capture both domestic demand and German outbound business. It will also drive the development of IHG’s brands across more locations.

NOVUM Hospitality will adopt IHG brands and systems for this entire portfolio, becoming one of IHG’s largest franchisees globally, with access to IHG’s powerful commercial engine and technology platforms to drive hotel performance, efficient hotel operations and customer experience.

Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said:

“We are delighted to collaborate with such a respected group as NOVUM Hospitality and double IHG’s presence in Germany, one of Europe’s largest hotel markets and a growth priority for our business. This agreement demonstrates the appeal to owners of our powerful enterprise and IHG’s success in attracting excellent conversion opportunities to grow our system size. It also creates a strong domestic German platform to increase demand and brand awareness, as well as capture a larger share of the millions of outbound trips made each year across Europe and beyond.

We’re excited to bring a modern, bold and dynamic experience to market with our Holiday Inn – the niu collaboration, which pairs our world-famous Holiday Inn brand with a high-quality local brand that has an excellent, largely newly-built estate. Equally, bringing Garner to Europe in such a critical market as Germany is a great moment, as is taking Candlewood Suites outside of the Americas for the first time. Both IHG and NOVUM Hospitality share a deep commitment to true hospitality, quality and growth, and we look forward to expanding together in the years to come.”

David Etmenan, Chief Executive Officer and Owner, NOVUM Hospitality, commented:

“Partnering with IHG, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, equips our family-run business with the firepower needed to fortify our market presence across Europe. This collaboration enables us to concentrate on delivering exceptional hotel experiences while leveraging the globally acclaimed brand recognition of IHG. Forging a co-brand between the niu and Holiday Inn sees two perfectly complementary brands come together, enhancing our appeal to guests on a global scale. Accessing IHG’s state-of-the-art global distribution network provides us with enhanced sales and revenue capabilities, ensuring sustained commercial success while retaining full flexibility and independence for NOVUM Hospitality, as the company remains in our ownership entirely.

Beyond the strategic advantages, the alignment of our values and principles throughout the negotiation process with IHG underscores the compatibility of our alliance. We deeply value the respect and consideration accorded to our the niu brand and eagerly anticipate the promising future that lies ahead in our joint endeavours.”

Further brand details:

  • Holiday Inn is an award-winning icon, voted the most trusted hotel brand in US travel. Providing leisure guests, business travellers and families with great places to stay since 1952, Holiday Inn has over 1,200 hotels globally and a further 250 properties in its pipeline.
  • Holiday Inn – the niu is a collaboration anchored in distinctive design and memorable hospitality. Already renowned for its commitment to neighbourly service and individually designed hotels inspired by their location, urban art and pop-culture, the niu is a fresh brand with a strong reputation. Combining it with Holiday Inn, alongside the award-winning IHG One Rewards loyalty programme and IHG’s powerful enterprise platform, will further elevate the stay experience, grow market share by reaching new leisure and business guests, and accelerate expansion into new locations.
  • The first US Garner hotel opened in Seattle in late 2023 within three months of the brand being franchise-ready, and it has since launched in Japan, Mexico and Canada. With today’s announcement, Garner is now franchise ready across IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) region. Garner is designed for travellers of all ages seeking a reliable, relaxed experience at an affordable price. It is becoming the leading choice for guests wanting great value stays at high–quality properties, and for owners seeking higher returns in the midscale space. IHG expects Garner to reach over 500 open hotels in the next 10 years and 1,000 hotels in the next 20 years in the US alone.
  • Candlewood Suites is IHG’s midscale extended stay brand, providing a casual and friendly environment with everything guests need to live, work and relax while away from home. For over 25 years, the brand has provided great value for guests, while also allowing owners to benefit from a highly efficient operating model. Candlewood Suites has a combined open and pipeline estate of over 520 hotels across the Americas.

About IHG Hotels & Resorts

IHG Hotels & Resorts [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good.

With a family of 19 hotel brands and IHG One Rewards, one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has over 6,300 open hotels in more than 100 countries, and a development pipeline of over 2,000 properties.

–  Luxury & Lifestyle: Six Senses Hotels Resorts SpasRegent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Vignette Collection, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo

–  Premium: voco hotels, HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, EVEN Hotels

–  Essentials: Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Garner hotels, avid hotels

–  Suites: Atwell Suites, Staybridge Suites, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Candlewood Suites

–  Exclusive Partners: Iberostar Beachfront Resorts

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 345,000 people work across IHG’s hotels and corporate offices globally.

Visit us online for more about our hotels and reservations and IHG One Rewards. To download the IHG One Rewards app, visit the Apple App or Google Play stores.

For our latest news, visit our Newsroom and follow us on LinkedIn.

About NOVUM Hospitality

With a distinguished portfolio of over 150 hotels (incl. secured pipeline), encompassing more than 20,000 rooms across 60 premier locations throughout Europe, NOVUM Hospitality is ranked among the biggest family-run hotel groups in Germany. Founded in 1988 and geared for growth since 2004, NOVUM Hospitality has been successfully expanding under the visionary leadership of Chief Executive Officer & Owner, David Etmenan. The hotel portfolio comprises midscale and upper midscale hotels in central locations run under acclaimed brands such as the niu, Select Hotels, Novum Hotels, Yggotel and acora Living the City. Additionally, NOVUM Hospitality proudly serves as a franchisee for InterContinental Hotels Group, Accor, and Hilton. The renowned Treugast Investment Ranking, an annual assessment of the foremost hotel companies in Germany, awards NOVUM Hospitality with an ‘A’ rating, underscoring their commitment to excellence and industry leadership.

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AXA named as an Official Partner of UEFA Women’s EURO 2025




AXA has proudly announced its support for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 as an Official Partner, furthering its sponsorship programme initiated in 2020. The prestigious event will take place in Switzerland from July 2 to 27, 2025.

Commitment to Women’s Football

This partnership underscores AXA’s dedication to promoting women’s football, building on its long-term support for the sport. Since 2020, AXA has been the main sponsor of the AXA Women’s Super League and the AXA Women’s Cup in Switzerland. By investing in women’s football, AXA aims to bolster women’s sports and promote its brand ethos, “Know You Can,” encouraging self-belief among its customers.

Statements from AXA Leaders

Fabrizio Petrillo, CEO of AXA Switzerland, expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “I’m so excited to support UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 together with other European AXA companies as a main sponsor. We are sending a strong signal and making a contribution to ensure that the players and fans can experience a great event and further strengthen women’s football. I’m looking forward to a fantastic summer of football in 2025!”

Volunteering Opportunities

The partnership includes more than just financial support. AXA employees will have the opportunity to volunteer during the tournament as part of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 Volunteer Programme, playing a crucial role in the event’s success.

Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA Marketing Director, commented, “AXA is a dedicated supporter of women’s football in Switzerland, so we are thrilled to partner with them for what will be an unforgettable UEFA Women’s EURO 2025. We look forward to working together to make this the can’t-miss event of next summer while also strengthening women’s football in the host country and throughout Europe.”

Enhancing Visibility for Female Players

Andreea Prange, Head of Customer Experience & Strategy at AXA Switzerland, added, “Promoting women’s football is a topic I hold dear to my heart. That’s why I’m delighted that AXA, as a partner of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025, is also committed to increasing the visibility of female players at the international level.”

Tournament Details

Doris Keller, Tournament Director of UEFA Women’s EURO 2025, stated, “AXA, a long-time supporter and partner of women’s football in Switzerland and globally, is a perfect fit to become a global partner of UEFA Women’s EURO 2025. We look forward to collaborating with AXA on the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 Volunteer Programme, as the 2,500 volunteers will play a highly essential and valuable role throughout the tournament welcoming everyone to the host country.”

The UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 will feature 16 teams competing in eight Swiss cities, attracting an estimated 500 million viewers worldwide and offering over 700,000 tickets for fans to attend the matches live.

Partnership Duration

The partnership between AXA and UEFA will continue until the end of August 2025. The financial terms of the sponsorship remain confidential.


The post AXA named as an Official Partner of UEFA Women’s EURO 2025 appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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Lucinity Wins the Microsoft Partner Awards for 2024 for Partner of the Year – Iceland and Sustainability and Social Impact



REYKJAVÍK, Iceland, May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Lucinity, a leading AI company for financial crime prevention, won two awards at the Microsoft Partner Awards for 2024, including Partner of the Year – Iceland and Sustainability and Social Impact, highlighting Lucinity’s innovations and contribution to positive societal change. 

“Congratulations to Lucinity for being recognized as the Partner of the Year – Iceland 2024! Lucinity is leading digital transformation and delivering innovative products in their domain,” says Microsoft’s leadership.

For the past year, they have played a key role with their offerings, skilled resources, and their ability to drive change and innovative solutions both locally in Iceland and across the globe. Lucinity has had significant social impact and growth while supporting our joint customers in their AI-transformation journeys.”

In June 2023, Lucinity launched the world’s first copilot for FinCrime prevention powered by Microsoft Azure OpenAI called Luci. Luci stands out in the financial services industry with specialized skills for FinCrime prevention such as adverse media checks, case analysis, and SAR writing. 

Built on the robust and scalable Microsoft Azure platform, Lucinity offers customers a trusted SaaS product. Additionally, Lucinity’s presence on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace allows companies to leverage their Microsoft Azure credits to access the platform. 

The seamless integration with Microsoft’s Azure stack has enabled Lucinity to implement advanced AI capabilities, fostering rapid innovation and enabling banks and fintech companies to utilize AI securely and audibly. Furthermore, Luci significantly reduces investigation times from 2.5 hours to just 25 minutes, saving Tier 1 banks an estimated $25 million annually.

Guðmundur Kristjánsson (GK)Lucinity’s Founder and CEO comments, “These awards are a testament to the strength and reliability of our solutions, made possible by our strategic partnership with Microsoft. Utilizing Microsoft Azure, we have been able to drive rapid innovation and create a robust, scalable platform that meets the rigorous requirements of compliance teams.” 

On the Sustainability and Social Impact Partner Award, Microsoft says, “Lucinity, with their innovative AI solutions, has really tried to combat this huge global challenge. They use ‘Human AI’ to enhance financial crime prevention, combining AI with human expertise for efficient, user-friendly solutions. Additionally, Lucinity has developed a tool called Luci, an AI-powered copilot that helps transform financial crime prevention from a process that took hours to one that takes minutes.”



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2024 Hengqin Global Investment Promotion Conference Kicks Off



HENGQIN, China, May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The Hengqin 2024 Global Investment Promotion Conference and sharing sessions opened on 26 May. Liu Xianfa, Commissioner of China’s Foreign Ministry in the Macao SAR; Lei Wai Nong, Director of the Executive Committee of the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin (hereinafter referred to as the “Cooperation Zone”); Huang Zhihao, Deputy Secretary of the CPC Zhuhai Municipal Committee and Mayor of Zhuhai; Nie Xinping, Fu Yongge, Su Kun, Deputy Directors of the Executive Committee of the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin attended the event. It also attracted more than 1,000 investors from Macao’s business associations and renowned enterprises at home and abroad. Guests attending the event came from 42 countries and regions, including Portugal, Brazil, Singapore and Malaysia, and the scale of participation was greatly enlarged compared with that of last year.

Lei Wai Nong said in his speech that Hengqin is currently entering into its “prime time” of trade and investment opportunities. He invited all entrepreneurs from home and abroad to invest in Hengqin and embrace the new development opportunities together.

Su Kun introduced the open investment environment of the Cooperation Zone and highlighted that the four new industries have seen significant progress and new development opportunities since the implementation of tier-specific management.

The event featured presentations on investment and development in Hengqin by representatives of Wisewave (Zhuhai) Technology Co., Ltd. and Airbus Helicopters China.

Nine research experts, scholars, and entrepreneurs from Macao and Hengqin have been invited to serve as “Ambassadors for Hengqin”. Together with six “Advocates for Hengqin” they are expected to promote Hengqin to the world. The video series “Ambassadors for Hengqin” will be rolled out in June.

Highlights of this year’s conference included an exhibition on the four new industries in the Cooperation Zone, showcasing the fruits of development in recent years. As of the end of the event on 26 May, more than 69,000 audience watched the online broadcasts.

On 27 May, a series of sharing sessions were held for in-depth discussions on integrated circuits, traditional Chinese medicine, branded industries, modern finance, cultural tourism, conventions and exhibitions, trade, and cross-border e-commerce, with the aim of building a bridge for dialogue and cooperation in these industries. 

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