Holiday Inn owner IHG finds key to spring break rebound


May 6 (Reuters) – Holiday Inn owner IHG said on Friday that pent-up demand and increased hotel stays during the U.S. spring break had boosted occupancy rates and price, pushing its revenue per room closer to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter.

“As occupancy levels increase and because of the strength of our brands, our hotels are seeing increased pricing power,” IHG chief executive Keith Barr said in a statement.

IHG (IHG.L) said its RevPAR, or revenue per available room, increased 61% from the same period in 2021, reaching 82% of pre-pandemic levels in the three months ended March 31, with the Americas, its largest market, leading the recovery.

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The owner of Crowne Plaza, Regent and Hualuxe said rates for leisure stays were up more than 10% from 2019 levels in the United States, but occupancy was still below levels. before the pandemic.

Higher vaccination rates and an easing of restrictions have spurred an increase in leisure and business travel, helping hoteliers rebound, although a potential resurgence of COVID-19, geopolitical tensions and rising inflation pose always a risk.

“With a cost of living crisis sweeping the globe, the group’s focus on a mid-value offering should keep it well positioned to capture demand from an increasingly cash-strapped consumer. “said Matt Britzman, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Shares of IHG, which said its Greater China business remained under pressure from restrictions put in place to control rising coronavirus cases, were down 0.8% at 0713 GMT.

Its U.S. rival Marriott International (MAR.O) said on Wednesday it expects a key revenue indicator for its U.S. and Canadian markets to reach pre-pandemic levels for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, Hilton Worldwide said on Tuesday that soaring labor costs and other inflationary pressures are expected to weigh on earnings. Read more

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Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Sriraj Kalluvila and Alexander Smith

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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