Holiday inn

Holiday Inn owner sees busy US summer as demand returns

The Holiday Inn Express is seen in St Julian’s, Malta April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

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  • IHG’s RevPAR rebounded strongly in March
  • People are tired of being locked up – IHG CFO
  • Shares up 0.3% in morning trade

May 7 (Reuters) – Holiday Inn owner IHG (IHG.L) said on Friday demand was returning strongly and forecast a busy U.S. summer season as travelers took advantage of an easing of coronavirus lockdowns.

Vaccinations against COVID-19 and the easing of restrictions in regions such as the United States, IHG’s largest market, offered respite from a painful 2020, as did the trend towards longer vacations. close to home in some of the company’s largest locations.

“The forward bookings data clearly shows further improvement as we look to the months ahead,” chief executive Keith Barr said.

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IHG, which also owns the Crowne Plaza brand, said there was a noticeable recovery in March, particularly in the United States and China, which continued into April.

While revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key performance indicator, was down 50.6% in the first quarter, it rose 20.8% in March as the Greater China region saw a jump of 288.6%.

Shares of the blue-chip British company, which have more than doubled since the trough of the pandemic last year, rose 0.3% at 0810 GMT.

TIRED OF BEING CLOSED

IHG’s UK rival Whitbread also last month forecast a significant rebound in demand this summer as more Britons holiday closer to home. Read more

“In resorts, all of our hotels are very busy,” IHG chief financial officer Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson said on a media call.

“People are tired of being locked up, people want to travel.”

He predicted that demand for rooms in some locations in the United States would exceed availability this summer.

IHG, which had called 2020 the toughest year in its 200-year history, said volatility risk remained.

“The situation in India reminds everyone that the pandemic is not over,” Edgecliffe-Johnson said.

IHG said it has repaid 600 million pounds ($834 million) it took under a UK government loan scheme introduced last year to help businesses cope with the pandemic.

($1 = 0.7192 pounds)

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Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru, editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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