Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Intercontinental Hotels sees no sign of recovery

The following piece from BBC News provides a sober assessment of the global travel and leisure industry.

The world's biggest hotel group has warned it has seen no sign of recovery and has said it could take two years for trade to return to previous levels.

Intercontinental Hotels - which operates the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn brands - said the downturn was continuing to stifle travel budgets.

Its operating profits fell 38% to $179m (£108.5m) in the first half of 2009.

The group added that while occupancy levels were stabilising, room rates were under pressure.

"We can't see any sign of recovery and it could be two years before we get back to levels of travel we were at before," said chief executive Andrew Cosslett.

"This is one of the toughest years on record with little respite and it will continue to be challenging this year and into next."

The firm added that while reservations for July had benefited from improved demand from leisure travellers, it did not know what future booking trends would be.

Intercontinental has about 4,300 properties with almost 630,000 rooms.

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