Leisure trips driving increased rates and occupancy at IHG

A return in holiday travel helped boost first quarter trading at InterContinental Hotels Group.

The Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza parent saw revenue per available room (revpar) rise by 61% over the same period last year to reach 82% of the pre-pandemic 2019 level.

The average daily rate achieved was up 27% year-on-year to come into line with 2019.

Chief executive Keith Barr said: “We’ve seen very positive trading conditions in the first quarter with travel demand continuing to increase in almost all of our key markets around the world.

“The high level of demand we have seen for leisure travel continues to drive increased rates and occupancy.

“We also continue to see a return of business and group travel, further supporting revpar improvements in many of our key urban markets.

“As occupancy levels rise and due to the strength of our brands, our hotels are seeing increased pricing power; in March, our hotels in the US achieved leisure rates up by more than 10% on 2019 levels and rate across the whole of the US business was 4% ahead.”

But he added: “Trading in Greater China continues to be impacted by restrictions put in place to control rising Covid cases.”

Barr said: “Our strategic focus on strengthening and expanding our brand portfolio continues to drive growth. We signed 17,000 rooms into our development pipeline in the first quarter, 15% more than in 2021. Our pipeline of 278,000 rooms increased 2.4%.

“Of the 120 hotels signed, there was a particularly strong performance in the Americas with a near-doubling of signings from 39 to 73.

“Luxury and lifestyle brands now account for around 20% of all signings, and following the completion of our quality review in 2021 there were 52 signings across the Holiday Inn brand family and 14 for Crowne Plaza, together up 22% on last year.

“Our net system size is expanding, and we are pleased with the progress towards our ambition of delivering an industry-leading level of net rooms growth.”

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