Published on : Monday, May 10, 2021
IHG Hotels & Resorts recently informed that just four per cent of properties operated by the company remained closed in the first quarter, as it continued to fight against the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Occupancy at the more than 5,000 hotels which are open stood at 40 per cent.
IHG said group RevPAR was down by half when compared to the pre-COVID-19 first quarter of 2019. At present, IHG is able to change around 80 per cent of 2019 rates for rooms. In Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, the continuation of lockdowns meant RevPAR levels were largely unchanged from the prior two quarters. In Greater China, after temporary domestic travel restrictions were lifted, demand recovered quickly in March towards levels seen in the second half of 2020.
Keith Barr, Chief Executive, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement that trading continued to improve during the first quarter of 2021, with IHG maintaining its outperformance of the industry in key markets and seeing strong performance in openings and signings while expanding brands around the world. He mentioned that there was a notable pick-up in demand in March, particularly in the US and China, which continued into April. He informed that while the risk of volatility remains for the balance of the year, a clear evidence of further improvement can be noticed from forward bookings data and looking to the months ahead.
He shared that IHG opened a further 56 hotels during the quarter, and these new openings broadly offset hotels removed as part of the continued focus on maintaining the highest quality estate for guests. He added that a good progress on the review of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza estates can also be seen and the IHG’s pipeline has also grown with 92 signings in the quarter, driven by the industry-leading midscale brands and continued strong owner appetite for conversion opportunities.