IHG Hotels & Resorts, which includes brands such as Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites and Kimpton, reported third-quarter results this week and the results show improved numbers in available room and occupancy, a welcome sign for the industry that has been hard hit by COVID-19.
“Trading improved in the third quarter, although progress continues to vary by region,” said Keith Barr, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. “RevPAR declined 5%, compared to a 75% decline in the prior quarter, while occupancy was 44%, up from 25% in Q2.”
Barr said domestic travel remains the most resilient and the company’s Holiday Inn brand positions it to meet the demand as it slowly returns. The greater demand for domestic tourism gives hope that the market will help hotel companies navigate this difficult period.
“This is recognition of consumer preference for our brands and strong owner relationships, and also the long-term attractiveness of the markets we operate in and the relative resilience of our business model,” Barr said.
IHG signed 82 hotels in the quarter, bringing the total to 263 year to date, more than a quarter of which are conversions. “As we continue to invest in growth initiatives, we do so with a strict focus on cost reduction and an unwavering commitment to act responsibly for our people, guests, owners and local communities,” he continued.
Barr said a full industry recovery will take time.
“A full industry recovery will take time and uncertainty remains regarding the potential for further improvement in the short term, but we take confidence from the steps taken to protect and support our owners and drive demand back to our hotels as guests feel safe to travel,” he said.
“Our actions have resulted in ongoing industry outperformance in our key markets, and we remain focused on leveraging the strength of our brands, scale and market positioning to recover strongly and drive future growth.”
Ben Cordwell, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, a data and analytics company, said this news shows “signs of a slow recovery are beginning to become apparent.”
“There is reason to be positive as the hotel chain has reported that occupancy improved from 25% to 44% in Q3, signaling a light at the end of the tunnel.”