Friday 18 October 2019 9:24 am

Holiday Inn owner Intercontinental Hotels Group hit by Hong Kong protests as revenue falls for quarter

The owner of Holiday Inn has blamed protests in Hong Kong for a drop in quarterly revenue, as it also suffered from weakness in the US and mainland China.

Intercontinental Hotels Group said quarterly revenue per room fell 0.8 per cent, making it the latest company to feel the pinch of weaker global travel.

Read more: China weakness hurts Intercontinental Hotels Group revenue

The company, which has nearly 5,800 hotels under brand names like Crowne Plaza and Regent Hotels & Resorts, said revenue per available room fell 6.1 per cent in Greater China, with a 36 per cent drop in Hong Kong.

Competitors such as Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Raffles owner Accorhotels have warned of slowing growth in China.

That has come as the country’s trade war with the US and a slowing global economy dampen spending on business and leisure travel.

Tourism in Hong Kong has also been squeezed by more than four months of protests against what is seen as Beijing tightening grip on the Chinese-ruled city.

Intercontinental Hotels Group also signaled tougher trading conditions in the United States, but said it was confident in its financial outcome for the rest of the year.

Chief executive Keith Barr said: “Despite the weaker revpar environment, and the challenges some of our markets are currently experiencing, we remain confident in our financial outcome for the rest of the year.”

AJ Bell analyst Russ Mould said: “It seems only natural that one of the world’s biggest hotel groups has had a tough time of late, given the concerns about a slowdown in global economic growth.

Read more: Intercontinental Hotels Group buys luxury brand Six Senses in $300m deal

“Weaker economic conditions are bad news for big hotels catering for business travellers. Corporates often look closely at their cost base when times get harder and travel is an easy place to make cuts.

“First you insist employees stay in cheaper rooms, then they don’t travel at all. The airline industry follows a similar pattern where companies make staff switch from business to economy class, and then encourage them to not to fly and do video conferences instead.