Weaker France And China Demand Weighs On InterContinental
InterContinental Hotels Group Plc has said that fewer people checked into its hotels in the first quarter of 2019 due to lower demand in China, South Korea and France.
InterContinental, whose 13 brands include Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Hotel Indigo, reported a 0.3% rise in room revenue as strong demand in the Latin America and Caribbean markets was offset by weakness in the Greater China region.
Occupany rates slipped 0.2% in the period.
IHG reported a 3% fall in revenue per available room (RevPAR) in France as it felt the impact of the "yellow vest" protest.
In South Korea, the company reported a 30% plunge in RevPAR because of tough comparisons due to the Winter Olympics being hosted in the country last year.
Fighting Rising Challenges
The company has been focusing on business customers and expanding its luxury offerings to fight the rising challenges posed by companies such as Airbnb and online travel agents.
Weak demand in China's smaller cities meant the company reported flat room revenue. Accor SA, Europe's biggest hotel group, recently said weakness in Asia held back growth in RevPAR in its first quarter.
InterContinental CEO Keith Barr said on a call that China, where the company operates 400 hotels, would continue to be an important market.
Barr has steered the company towards affluent Chinese customers to lessen dependence on highly mature US markets, while aggressively rebranding to compete against the likes of Marriott International Inc and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.