Oct 22 (Reuters) - IHG said on Friday it was seeing
encouraging signs of recovery in business and international
travel, with strong corporate bookings in the United States as
the Holiday Inn owner's room revenue inches closer to
The owner of the Crowne Plaza, Regent and Hualuxe hotel
chains said hotel room revenue (RevPAR), a key performance
indicator, rose 66% in the third quarter, with the United States
down just 7% from 2019 levels after a busy summer season.
"Domestic leisure demand was particularly strong in a number
of markets over the summer, where occupancy and rate climbed
back to 2019 levels," Chief Executive Officer Keith Barr said.
IHG said it was encouraged by signs of an uplift in business
travel, group bookings and international trips during September.
Companies in the travel and hospitality industry around the
world are recovering from the pandemic, as higher vaccination
rates and an easing in restrictions spur an uptick in business
and leisure travel.
However, renewed lockdowns due to the spread of the
highly-contagious Delta variant, together with pre-flight
COVID-19 tests as well as remote work options, still pose a
significant constraint for the sector.
Revenue in IHG's Americas region, which account for the bulk
of the group's revenue, rose 76% in the quarter and was down 10%
compared to 2019.
In China, like other hotel operators such as Marriott
International, IHG saw a hit in August from new
IHG shares were down 1.5% by 0725 GMT, with Citi analyst
James Ainley saying it reflected the company's underperformance
as compared to industry data.
"(IHG's) key Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands in
particular weak relative to their segments," Ainley added.
IHG has been reviewing around 200 Holiday Inn and Crowne
Plaza hotels to save cost and position itself for growth post
COVID-19. It has exited or confirmed the exit of 90 hotels
already, it said on Friday.
It is targeting an additional $25 million in cost savings
(Reporting by Federico Maccioni in Gdansk and Yadarisa Shabong
in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Edmund Blair)