Holiday Inn owner made up ground as Covid restrictions eased

The hotel chain behind Holiday Inn has recovered a little in the last few months from the rock bottom its sites reached earlier this year.

InterContinental Hotels said that revenue per available room was down 53.4% in the third quarter of the year.

It is a significant drop, but far better than levels seen earlier in the year. The second quarter saw a drop of three-quarters compared with 2019 levels.

Meanwhile, occupancy levels rose from 25% in the second quarter to 44% in the third, InterContinental said.

The company was hit early in the year, before Covid-19 had developed into a pandemic, as dozens of its Chinese hotels had to close.

However, China is now outperforming the rest of the world, with per-room revenue down only 23% in the third quarter, and occupancy hitting 57%, after lows of 10% in February. It even opened another 10 hotels in the country in the quarter.

Chief executive Keith Barr said: “Despite the challenges we’ve faced, we have continued to open new hotels and sign more into our pipeline.”

But he added that hotels still have some way to go before getting back to anywhere near normal, as serious Covid-19 restrictions continue in large parts of the world.

“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.”