International Hotels Group (IHG) has published its first quarter trading update, in the midst of what CEO Keith Barr called “the most significant challenge both IHG and our industry have ever faced”.
With the coronavirus crisis resulting in unprecedented global travel restrictions, the group said that its revenue per room during March was down 55 per cent, with April expected to slump by around 80 per cent.
Around 15 per cent of IHG’s global estate was closed as of the end of April, although in Europe this figure was around 50 per cent. The US is faring better, with 90 per cent of properties currently open.
Barr said that “Following a solid performance in the first two months of 2020, occupancy levels dropped to historic lows in March and April, as social distancing measures and travel restrictions came into effect around the world”.
Striking a positive note, Barr said that IHG’s business is “weighted towards non-urban markets that are less reliant on international inbound travel and large group meetings and events, which provides a level of resilience during this difficult period”.
But he warned that “We anticipate continued disruption to travel in the months ahead, and forward visibility on the timing and shape of improvements in demand remains very limited”.
The vast majority of IHG’s properties in Greater China are now open, and Barr confirmed that the group will welcome the Regent Shanghai Pudong to its luxury portfolio later this month. IHG is set to take over the management of the current Four Seasons Shanghai Pudong from May 15.