IHG® Academy

First launched in China in 2006, IHG® Academy provides opportunities for local people from all walks of life to build their knowledge and skills, improve their employment prospects and start and nurture a career in the hospitality industry. It’s our way of opening our doors and creating opportunities for all.


IHG Academy programmes



With an expanding portfolio of hotels, we have a pressing business need to identify and develop the talented people who will staff and manage them. By working with local communities and in partnership with others, we help develop a pool of skilled, motivated and engaged people who are committed to providing the consistently great experience that our guests expect.

The global travel and tourism industry is a source of considerable economic development. Through the IHG Academy we take this responsibility seriously and demonstrate that IHG® is a leading player.

Within a global framework, each IHG Academy is unique, ensuring that the programme meets the needs of the local community it serves. All IHG Academy programmes operate together with local community organisations and/or education providers to offer participants real experience of working in a hotel or corporate office. The IHG Academy gives participants the opportunity to build their skills and improve their chances of finding a job in the hotel sector, in many cases in one of our hotels. Since 2013, 22,344 new IHG Academy participants have benefitted from the programme, exceeding our target of 20,000 by 2017.

In 2010, IHG launched the IHG Academy scholarship programme in China. Each year we offer financial assistance to students from low-income families who wish to pursue education and careers in hospitality. We have assisted a total of 832 IHG Academy scholars to pay for their education since the scholarship programme began.

Partnering with the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) in Brazil

Holiday inn brazil

Since 2012, the Holiday Inn Sao Paulo-Parque Anhembi and the InterContinental Sao Paulo have partnered with the YCI to help disadvantaged young people. As part of the IHG Academy programme, participants are taught key skills that help empower them to make informed career choices and positive life decisions. As part of the six month programme, eight IHG Academy participants rotate through a number of departments in each hotel, and through the programme a number of IHG Academy participants have gone on to secure permanent positions at the hotels.

"IHG Academy was the best experience I had and it jumpstarted my professional career in hospitality. Before the programme I had no idea of how a hotel operates and how each department depends on each other. The programme gave me the opportunity to experience this first hand."

Thaiane Santana
Former IHG Academy participant now employed at the Holiday Inn Sao Paulo-Parque Anhembi

10 years of IHG Academy in China

IHG academy china

In 2015, we celebrated 10 years of IHG Academy. To mark the occasion our group Chairman, Patrick Cescau, joined 170 IHG Academy participants at Shanghai Second Polytechnic University to deliver a guest lecture on the subject of key trends in the global hospitality industry. As part of the celebration, the Chairman also unveiled the university's newly built IHG Academy Training Centre. Former IHG Academy participants at the event shared their experiences with the programme. Lerro Liu, an IHG Academy graduate and scholarship recipient, working in the front office of InterContinental Century City Chengdu told the audience:

"My experience with IHG Academy has changed my life. It makes me feel more confident and passionate about my work. Meanwhile, it has given me a sense of responsibility, not only for my work, but it also carries over into my relationships with my friends and family."