IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) have launched a new program – known as IHG LIFT – which has been designed to create more hotel development support for historically under-represented groups within the hospitality industry.
The program will include support, access to capital and guidance along the hotel lifecycle, and is open to owners who qualify in the U.S. and Canada.
According to a release from IHG, the new program will ‘unlock common barriers to hotel ownership among these groups and empower diverse owner-entrepreneurs for success.’
As part of the program, IHG has partnered with two leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College – and will commit more than $30 million to the initiative over the next five years.
“As our industry grows, we need to keep our focus on enabling more success for our diverse ownership base. Barriers such as a lack of access to capital and the right networks put such owners at a disadvantage. The IHG LIFT program is specifically designed to help ease the path to ownership and ultimately support owners. Diversifying ownership is not only better for IHG, it also lifts up our entire industry,” said Julienne Smith, chief development officer, Americas at IHG Hotels & Resorts.
IHG LIFT forms part of IHG’s forms part of its broader Journey to Tomorrow 2030 responsible business plan.