Hotel group Accor has said that weakness in Asia and North America held back growth in revenue per available room (RevPAR) to 1.6% in the first quarter.
However, the French company, which has more than 4,000 hotels ranging from luxury Sofitels to the budget Ibis brand, said it was confident that RevPAR would progressively improve to around 3% for the full year 2019 as it expected Asia to recover.
Accor said first quarter revenue rose 8.8% on a like-for-like basis to €987 million as Europe remained strong while South America confirmed its recovery.
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RevPAR in the Asia Pacific region contracted 0.6% in the quarter led by a 1.6% fall in Australia, where oversupply in major cities and upcoming general elections affected prices and occupancy rates.
There was also weakness in Chinese outbound travel to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Australia. RevPAR in China alone fell 3% during the quarter.
RevPAR in North America suffered from unfavorable comparisons with the first quarter 2018 in the United States while renovations hurt activity in Canada in the first quarter of 2019.
Cutting Costs, Expanding Luxury And Investing In New Areas
Accor has been cutting costs, expanding in the luxury end of the market and investing in new areas such as concierge services to boost growth and fight the rising challenges posed by companies such as Airbnb and online travel agents.
In February, Accor said it would invest €225 million over the coming years to support new initiatives to boost its presence in hospitality and entertainment services.