IHG continues to expand its luxury and lifestyle growth in Europe with the signing of the franchise agreement with InterContinental Tiranaa first brand for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in Albania.
Due to open in 2025, IHG recently signed a franchise agreement with Mr. Ram Geci, owner and chairman of Geci Group, one of Albania’s leading infrastructure companies, also specializing in hospitality and tourism. The company has about 20 years of experience in the hotel business, being a shareholder since 2004 and sole owner of Tirana International Hotel, Tirana, Albania, since 2011.
The new InterContinental Tirana hotel will have around 300 rooms and suites, a large conference center with a ballroom and a capacity of up to 1,000 people for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) events and weddings. There will also be a luxury spa and a rooftop restaurant and bar with panoramic city views. The hotel will be located in Tirana’s main Skanderbeg Square, close to major attractions such as the National Historical Museum, Tirana Castle, Opera House, Art Gallery and major institutions such as the Albanian Parliament, ministries, the National Bank of Albania and the Municipality of Tirana. The property is just a 15-minute drive from Tirana International Airport.
Willemijn Geels, Vice President of Development Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said, “As the world’s leading luxury hotel brand, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is delighted to partner with the Geci Group for its first property in Tirana, the capital, cultural and economic center of Albania. This is a great opportunity for IHG to expand into Albania, a key entry market for us, as well as grow our presence in the Balkans. It builds on the momentum that followed the recently announced signing of Crowne Plaza Durrës – in Albania’s second largest city.
Ram Geci, owner and president of the Geci group said, “We are delighted to partner with IHG on this exciting new construction project, on this first luxury hotel deal, in the heart of the Albanian capital, Tirana. Attracting both business and leisure travelers, the InterContinental Tirana will be in a prime location offering some of the best hospitality experiences in Albania.
In 2021, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts celebrated its 75th Diamond Anniversary and currently has 31 hotels open across Europe, with 214 open and 79 in the pipeline globally. Recent signings in Europe include InterContinental Resort Crete, InterContinental Resort Amma, Canj – Montenegro and InterContinental Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Facilities at the InterContinental Tirana will include a relaxing wellness and leisure area including an indoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna, treatment rooms and a gym. There will be several restaurants, bars and cafes, as well as a casino, kids’ club, library and ample underground parking.
Bordering Greece, Serbia and Macedonia, Albania has 2.9 million inhabitants. Recognizing the importance of tourism to the Albanian economy, the government recently approved a series of tax breaks to help stimulate investment. In 2021, the total number of foreign tourists visiting Albania jumped by 114% to reach 5.7 million people (source: INSTAT).
*All figures as of May 4, 2022